“Starting out as a police officer I was very green,” said the outgoing Police chief, Jason Olson. “I had a lot of enthusiasm but I needed to learn a lot.”
At just 21-years-old, Jason Olson quickly traded green for blue at the Minot Police Department.
In his 32 years, he spent time as a patrol officer, 18 years on the SWAT team, and eight years as Police chief, making memories that he says will last a lifetime.
“It’s funny when you drive around Minot,” he said, “if you’ve worked as a police officer in a community for many years, pretty much every intersection, there are different places in town that bring back a memory of a significant call or a crime that occurred at a location or a bad accident. So, just driving around town, there’s memories that come back all the time.”
The mix of good and bad memories comes with the territory.
He says his time with the department has been time well spent, but it also came with challenges, one being turnover rate.
“I’ve counted up, I think we’ve hired like 106 officers in the last 7 years, which, we only have 83 so we’ve hired a lot and trained a lot of officers.”
Olson has covered crime to budget concerns, basic supervisor roles to policy changes.
He said, “I’ve likened it to having a stove with a bunch of pots cooking and you have to come in that day and make sure that nothing boils over, so you have to give attention to the ones that need immediate attention.”
Still, the job has had its perks.
When asked, “what will you miss?
He replied, “Definitely the people.”
And those people – his peers at the Minot Police Department – say they’ll miss him too.
“He was always concerned about the front-line officer, how it would affect them,” said Investigations Captain, Justin Sundheim.
Master Officer and Crime Prevention Officer, Aaron Moss added, “He’s always been a strong leader, mentor, and advocate for law enforcement officers that worked with or around him.”
“I’ve learned a lot from him,” said Patrol Lieutenant Dale Plessas. “As far as the calmness, the cool, collect, way he has in dealing with people.”
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him. A good boss, and a good man,” Detective Sergeant David Goodman said.
Olson said he’s always enjoyed change and challenge and that he expects retirement to bring change and challenge, too.
One major aspect he said he will miss is his role in the community.
He gave a big thank you to the people of Minot for their support and the relationships he’s formed.