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Officer Kerra Kruse

By Pam Reinig

Register Editor


If Elkader’s newest police officer looks a bit familiar, it’s because she’s a hometown girl. Kerra Kruse, who was sworn into office last week, is a 2014 Central High School graduate. Kruse has been attending the University of Northern Iowa majoring in criminology. At UNI, she got significant practical experience in law enforcement as a student patrol officer. 

“The student patrol program is an on-campus student job where students secure campus buildings and assist campus police on calls for service, Kruse explained. “I recently completed a 120-hour internship with the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, where I rode with various deputies and sat in the dispatch center.”

Kruse is the daughter of Robert Kruse and the late Ginger Kruse. Her family also includes a older brother, Shawn.

Kruse recently took time to answer some questions about her new job and returning to her hometown as a police officer. Here’s what she had to share:


Why did you apply for the position?

It may sound cheesy, but this is my dream job. When I went to school for criminology, I had it in my head that if I was going to become a law enforcement officer, I wanted to be one in Elkader. I have always wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to not only myself but my peers. I wanted to be able to protect and serve the community that I grew up in and love dearly. Last time we were expecting a flood, I was upset that I wasn’t able to help sandbag in front of Wilke’s. I wanted to be there for our community. I’m so grateful that I now get the opportunity to give back. I love living in Northeast Iowa in one of the most beautiful towns and I never intend on leaving the area.

What do you think will be the challenges and rewards?

One of the biggest rewards of being hired in Elkader is that I will be able to be closer to family and also will be able to attend community events. I wasn’t able to attend much while in college, but it will be fantastic to know that I’ll be around for Sweet Corn Days, various sports and other special events. I will also be able to be around family, since we are still recovering from the passing of my mother last October.

One of the challenges I will face on the job is that I know a lot of people from Elkader. That being said, someone may think they have an advantage knowing me and that it will get them out of trouble. I have sworn to myself that I will not be the peace officer that lets people get away with things just because I know them. I want to treat everyone fairly and equally, as everyone should.

You’re a hometown girl and still very young. How do you think that will impact people you’re now serving?

I feel that our community is going to better accept an officer that is from the area. Even though I am still quite young, I do not plan on moving anywhere else. I am not going to leave a year from now or even five years from now. I want to be able to take the knowledge and friendships I have gained from our town and be able to personalize my impact in the community. I am a very level-headed, determined individual and my age is not a disadvantage. I will be able to perform my duties at the best capacity for years to come.

How does your family feel about your career?

My family has been very supportive of my career. Of course, there have been moments in law enforcement where officers have gotten injured or killed, and they are afraid of that happening. Over the past few years, they have come to accept that I want to help people. We have recently gone over firearms safety and talked about personality changes. One of the things that my family has expressed to me is putting a personal touch on the service I am giving to our community. I want to leave each call and interaction knowing I made a difference in someone’s life or even made their day a little brighter. Enforcing laws is very important, but creating lasting relationships in our community is what makes me strive to do this job.

Kruse will continue her education while she works. She’ll be taking the reminder of her classes online and is on course to graduate in December.

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