Rushford Police Department welcomes new officer

Police O cer Kaylee Inglett
By : 
Chad Smith
Tri-County Record

The Rushford Police Department has an enthusiastic new officer on its staff. Kaylee Inglett joined the department last month as a part-time employee.

Inglett has been around law enforcement her whole life and is excited to be an officer herself. “My first day here was on January 14,” she recalled. “It’s going really well so far. I’ve been getting a lot of training in and I’m happy to be here.

“Rushford isn’t my first job in Minnesota,” Inglett added. “My first job as a police officer was working for the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and I actually still work for them part-time. I also got hired on part-time with the La Crescent Police Department as well. Rushford is one of the three police departments I work for.”

While that sounds like a schedule that’s almost too busy, Inglett says she’s a Type A personality that enjoys time management. She’s currently going through the Field Training Program to get up-to-speed on policing the Rushford area. While there are state standards that every police department has to abide by, local police departments each have their own policies and procedures.

Inglett hasn’t patrolled on her own yet in Rushford. “With the Rushford Department, I’ve basically spent time going on uniformed ride-alongs,” she said. “I’m in my full Rushford uniform and patrolling with Sergeant Nate Klinski and Officer Dalton Bellock.

“I got my start in police work in 2018,” Inglett said, “which is when I got my license. That’s when Houston County actually activated my POST (Peace Officer Standards Training) license, and I took my POST Test and passed it the first time in June of last year. I was first hired by the Houston County Sheriff’s Department for boat patrol. I’ll hopefully be out on the river when summer finally rolls around.”

Inglett finished up her bachelor’s degree in 3.5 years at Winona State. With a degree in hand, she and other prospective officers go on to a course they call “skills.” By completing the course, graduates are awarded a Law Enforcement Certificate. Inglett attended the skills program at Rochester Community and Technical College from January through May of 2018.

Law enforcement is a family affair at the Inglett household Her husband, Doug completed his schooling at the Alexandria Technical Institute and works as the K-9 Officer with the Winona Police Department. But, having other family members in law enforcement isn’t new for her.

“I grew up around law enforcement,” Inglett recalled. “Almost my entire family is in law enforcement and it’s always been a passion of mine. As a little girl, my dad would take my sister and me with him. I know he could have left us at home, but he decided to expose us to his career and that was a life-changing moment for me. I’ve also got aunts and uncles who are in different types of law enforcement. But, they did all start off as patrol officers.”

Her family knows the dangers inherent in law enforcement firsthand. Inglett’s father was killed in the line of duty. The family is originally from Pueblo, Colorado, where her father was captain of the sheriff’s office. “That was a shock,” she said, “especially as a 16-year-old in high school who was preparing for college. It made me more determined to prove to myself and to him that I could do it.

“I always wanted to prove to myself, my family, and my loved ones, and now to the community, that I can do them some good,” Inglett said. “I want to prove I can provide them with service, even ahead of myself and my own family.”

Inglett said her family moved to Farmington, Minnesota, when she was in middle school. She graduated from Farmington High School in 2014 and then attended Winona State University until her graduation in 2018.

Inglett said law enforcement is obviously about helping people, but she also says, “it’s more than that, too.” She said officers see people when they’re often at their worst. After all, people don’t typically call the police until a situation has escalated.

“You do have to see people at their worst, and that’s a fragile and vulnerable thing to be responsible for,” Inglett said. “Learning how to communicate with people in that situation is a valuable skill. It’s almost like an art form, in my opinion. I think it’s so important to be there for those people, especially if there’s some kind of mental health crisis.

“I’ve already had a chance to interact with some of the public in Rushford, and they’ve been great,” Inglett said. “I thoroughly enjoy the contacts that I have with the community. Even if we’re called to a certain place in a negative situation, our goal is to end it as positively as possible. We want to make sure we get the best help possible for everyone involved.”