Guest Column by Alexis Roy
(Editor’s note: Alexis Roy of Sauk Rapids has just retired after 20 years as an officer for the Sartell Police Department. She submitted the following as a letter to editor, but the Newsleader editor decided to publish it as a guest column. For more about Roy, see a feature story about her in today’s paper.)
It pleases me to have this opportunity to say to you what has so often been said to me: Thank you.
It has been a gift to me that I was hired by your city council in 1992. I cherish our years together that have been a true partnership between you the citizens and those of us who chose to serve you. Please know that my family and I enjoyed our time schooling, working, playing and at times living within this city. I take special pleasure in knowing you will still be in the devoted and faithful hands of the remaining officers and staff.
To the wonderful children of this city I ask you honor your parents, respect your elders and find a way to serve the community. It’s true through giving to others you will always find the greatest pleasures in life. The lessons learned in kindergarten will help you throughout your life so remember them as you become good citizens for Sartell. Treat each other with kindness even when you don’t want to. Learn the rules and then, of course, play by them. If you don’t agree with the rules, find out how to get them changed. Learn about Sartell from those who came here and built it. Listen for the stories. Some are happy, some are sad, but all are for remembering.
Watch out for one another. It’s a beautiful community, but know there are predators here. These people in your midst will continually try to erode the fabric of the community either overtly or covertly. Last night I patrolled these streets one final time and offered sincere prayers of peace and safety for all of you.
Twenty years ago I put on my badge for you as a licensed peace officer for this city. I never imagined the many years I would stay. I’ve arrested some of you, ticketed others. I’ve been there when some have died, and I even helped one baby boy enter this world.
You are strong people, and you are resilient in the face of darkness.
Pray for each other and continue to support one another in your aspirations for a meaningful community. You are Sartell. You have taught me what it means to be part of a caring and growing community. As you continue to develop and expand, encourage diversity. Have faith and have courageous conversations in order to support your relationships. If someone is violent, tell them to stop. If someone is a victim, offer sincere support. Introduce yourself. Say please and thank you. Say excuse me. Say I’m sorry and mean it. Use manners.
Your taxes pay for much of the property around town. Help to maintain it by reporting damage and destruction. Local employees are here to serve but can’t be everywhere at once. Lastly, remember never to forget police are but a part of the society we serve. Stay compassionate, educated and pursue reasonable happiness.
It has been my pleasure to serve the citizens of Sartell for these last 20 years. I pray you continue to support your local police always.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.