3/13/2014 3:19:00 PM VIP experience awaits sixth
grader as winner of essay contest
by DENISE MARTIN
In cooperation with the Minnesota Timberwolves professional basketball organization Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan will be bringing the winner of a sheriff’s essay contest to the Phoenix Suns game, later this month. Students in sixth grade were invited to write about, “If I Were Sheriff, I’d.....” The essay winner also gets an autographed Kevin Love photo and Rubio bobblehead, special access to the floor during warm-ups and after the game will accompany Sheriff Duncan deep into Target Center’s non-public spaces for a game debriefing and some informal time with T Wolves.
The winning essay, submitted by Adam Johnson, a sixth grader at Chisago Lakes Middle School, expresses wisdom well beyond the years of its composer. Johnson is the son of Chad and Libby Johnson, Chisago City. Excerpts from the essay include; “I would not give up on the people and the people would not give up on me. I would be good company to my fellow companions. When they need backup I would get there as fast as I could. I would not be mean or grumpy around good citizens.” This was the first year of this essay contest, so sheriff’s staff were pleasantly surprised that several essays were received. Shelley Beckman, sheriff’s crime analyst, helped put the contest together as a way to connect with youth and she commented that it was interesting to read what kids think law enforcement is about. Beckman also led Johnson and his dad on a tour of the sheriff’s operations space at the government center last week.
Sheriff Duncan plans to make contests for youth an annual thing. Next year the theme for the essay might be different, or the sports event prize will vary. Additional pro-active law enforcement efforts, or community policing programs coming out of the sheriff’s administration include having personnel and public volunteers becoming partners with Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau, to improve the effectiveness of youth mentors and expand mentoring experiences. Sheriff Duncan also is in the process of developing a program establishing a telephone-based check on senior citizens’ welfare.