The best thing about Alexis Roy’s 20 years of service as a Sartell police officer was the town and its people.
“It’s a good town,” she said. “A really good town with really good citizens.”
The most frustrating aspect of police work, she said, was dealing with “people who don’t want help but need it.”
The first woman hired by the department, Roy has just retired. There are now four women on the force.
When she first started her job on Nov. 1, 1992, Roy had no idea she would spend two decades as one of Sartell’s finest.
“I never, ever thought I was going to stay this long,” she said. “It was a good ride, and I had a really, really good time. I worked with incredible people, here and within other agencies.”
When former Sartell Police Chief Bob Ringstrom and the city council hired her, she was one of only five officers in the department. Now, there are 17 full-time officers, eight reserve officers and a dispatcher.
Even before she was hired, Roy worked for a time at the police station as a volunteer to help computerize its records system. Since then, Roy has clocked untold thousands of miles in her patrol car, dealing with virtually every duty an officer encounters: helping people in crises, arresting drunken drivers, helping at the scenes of fires and accidents, assisting at countless medical emergencies, helping educate the public about safety issues and even – in at least two cases – saving lives. She was honored twice with the department’s Lifesaving Award for saving the lives of two individuals who were on the point of flinging themselves off of bridges to their deaths.
Although Roy retired from police work, she won’t be idle for long. She has taken a part-time job for Northern Pines Mental Health Clinic, based in Brainerd and Little Falls. She will work as part of a team that will help mentally ill adults through the rehabilitation and adaptive process. She is looking forward to her new work, confident she can put to good use many of the networking and people skills she’s acquired through police work in her new endeavors.
Born in Orlando, Fla., Roy is the daughter of a man who worked for the U.S. Defense Department. Because of that, she and her family lived in many places throughout the nation, having to move where her father’s job took him. Later, Roy joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at the port of Bremerhaven, Germany, where she was a tractor trailer driver.
She lived in Michigan and California where she married a man named Rick Stanbaugh, whom she met while working for the Veterans’ Administration Hospital system. Stanbaugh, originally from Minnesota, eventually became the chief pharmacist for the VA in St. Cloud in 1988, and that is how Roy moved to this area. The couple, divorced, has twin daughters. One of them, Morgan Miller, lives in Chaska, with her husband, Mike, who is a police officer in Hopkins. The other daughter, Lindsay Stanbaugh, is a dispatcher for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, and she is currently dating a jailor for the Dakota County Sheriff’s Department.
Roy earned a bachelor’s degree in elective studies (data processing) and then a master’s degree in criminal justice studies from St. Cloud State University. She also completed a skills course at Alexandria Technical College just before serving with the Sartell Police Department.
Roy and her husband, Tom Roy, live in Sauk Rapids, right by the Sartell city borderline. Roy is a sergeant on the Sauk Rapids Police Department. He has two sons, Duncan, who is a chef at G. Allen’s in Sartell; and Wesley, who works at an optical-lens plant in St. Cloud.
The Roys are now “empty nesters,” but they are by no means housebound. They love to travel in the United States and Canada, often on their motorcycles. They enjoy their two boxer dogs, and they have four “grandpuppies” as Alexis’s twin daughters have two dogs each – Boston terriers and chocolate labs.
Roy’s safety advice to Sartell residents is “to watch out for each other” and “if you have locks, use them, as locks tend to keep people honest.”
For more about Roy, see her guest column on the Opinion Page in today’s paper.