Jeff Sjoblom became Kenyon's Chief of Police on August 23, 2021 after Chief Lee Sjolander retired. Chief Sjoblom came to Kenyon with 14 years of experience under his belt as a Goodhue County Deputy Sheriff. He worked patrol, was the TZD Grant Administrator, Field Training Officer, and spent time as an interim Investigator. He was also the School Resource Officer in Pine Island for 5 years and Kenyon-Wanamingo for 1.5 years until budget issues cut funding for the SRO program at Kenyon-Wanamingo. In this position, he worked at the schools to build positive relationships in the schools, and to serve as an officer who handles any type of criminal activity in the schools he represented. He also was an ALICE instructor. He taught active threat training and many area schools.
Chief Sjoblom recently retired from the Goodhue/Wabasha County Emergency Response Team, aka SWAT. He spent almost 15 years on the team. He was an operator, ERT vehicle maintainer, and Team Leader while serving his time on the team. One of the proudest things he did for Goodhue County and for the team is, in 2012, Chief Sjoblom made a promise to his ERT teammates he would work on acquiring a LENCO BearCat (armored personnel carrier) for the team. The promise was made after a tragic incident in Lake City, that took the life of Officer Shawn Schneider. In 2015, Chief Sjoblom wrote a grant that received Federal Funding for the BearCat. In 2016, the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office finally received the BearCat. The promise he made to the team was finally accomplished after four years of research, meetings, and help from various people and agencies. Chief Sjoblom left the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office knowing his fellow deputies/friends, moreover, the citizens of Goodhue and Wabasha were safer having the BearCat in the Sheriff’s Office’s fleet.
Chief Sjoblom has been a part of the Kenyon-Wanamingo community since 2005, with his wife Katie and their 3 children, Noah, Ruby, and Violet. Chief Sjoblom is every bit a family man, and has coached both his son Noah's 5th and 6th grade football team and his daughter Ruby's 5th and 6th grade football and softball teams.. He enjoys attending Kenyon-Wanamingo school events. Go Knights!
According to the locals I spoke with, he has accomplished a lot of good things in the short time he has been Chief.
* Some of the things he has accomplished since becoming Chief are:
Chief Sjoblom’s main concern is the safety of the citizen’s of Kenyon, moreover, the children in the Kenyon-Wanamingo schools and community He was able to coordinate a Mass Casualty training event at the Kenyon-Wanamingo High School in October 2022. This event, was training he had been trying to coordinate with Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office prior to living there, but was unable to get it done due to reasons beyond his control. He made it a priority when he became Chief in Kenyon.
Chief Sjoblom has put in place policies and procedures that meet the constant changes and requirements put forth by Minnesota law makers and the Minnesota POST Board.
One of the first things the city leaders asked Chief Sjoblom to do was to purchase a used squad to replace a squad that was costing the city a lot in repairs. He was able to find a 2018 Ford Explorer in Chicago, but unfortunately had to wait many months for it to get built due to shortage in used parts. Then one of the other older squads was totaled during a police pursuit coming into Kenyon. A Kenyon officer was attempting to put out Stop Sticks. The suspect drove into the squad and almost struck the officer. The city had to find a replacement for that squad as well. Fortunately, there was a 2022 Ford Explorer that was available at a business that builds squads. The PD was able to get the new squad back on Kenyon’s streets quickly, because they didn’t have to wait for old used parts to arrive. Prior to Chief Sjoblom’s arrival, the city had budgeted for a Ford Pickup as a third squad. It arrived two years after it was first talked about. With retention of officers being a huge issue in Law Enforcement, it’s an added benefit to have each full-time Kenyon Officer assigned to their own squad. Officers tend to care for and maintain squads better when they have assigned squads. They also have assigned equipment that remains in their squads. Early on in his employment with the city , Chief Sjoblom arrived at a call and did not have the necessary equipment to handle the call properly. It became a goal for him to make sure his officers were equipped, as well as the squads, properly to handle calls professionally and safely. The city is fortunate to now have a professional looking, fully operational, and matching fleet of squads. Chief Sjoblom wants the city to be proud of the officers they employ and the equipment they own.
The safety of the officers is a major concern for Chief Sjoblom. When Chief Sjoblom arrived, Kenyon Police Department had less lethal tools that weren’t operational. He was able to meet and talk to vendors to discuss less lethal options that were affordable to the city and met the needs of the officers.
Chief Sjoblom said training his officers is another priority. He has elevated the level of training that is required by the state. Minimum requirements is not good enough for Chief Sjoblom. He wants the officers in Kenyon to be well trained and knowledgeable on how to handle stressful and dangerous situations. No one is ever “trained enough” in law enforcement. He encourages his officers to seek training that they feel would benefit themselves and the city.
What he wants his constituents to know about him are:
Chief Sjoblom feels when officers are better trained, have good equipment, and have support from city leadership and the community, the officers show it in the work they do for the community. Chief Sjoblom feels lucky to work with the Law Enforcement team that Kenyon employs. They all care about the city and the people who live and travel through Kenyon.
Chief Sjoblom appreciates the support from the leaders, as well as the people of Kenyon. He feels fortunate to work for a community that is helping raise his children. His door is always open at the police department. He welcomes people to stop in and visit.
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