For WPD, Christmas is just another day at the office
WORTHINGTON — While most folks are gathered around a Christmas tree opening up presents, or having Christmas day dinner with friends and family — others are on patrol.
The officers of the Worthington Police Department experience their fair share of working over the holidays, but most say it’s just another day.
“It’s kind of the nature of the beast, so to speak,” explained Officer Mark Riley, who has been on duty for three Christmases in Worthington. “It all depends on the rotation of our schedule, and whatever days it falls on.”
Last year on Christmas Day, between the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office and Worthington Police Department, there were 35 calls received to which an officer had to respond.
From property damage, civil issues, intoxicated people, a theft and even a few accidents, it is quite clear that crime doesn’t take a holiday.
“It usually is busier for us around this time of year, and something big tends to happen around the holidays,” added Riley.
The Worthington Police Department will have full staff on duty Christmas Day, and due to the Safe and Sober program, there will be extra staffing over New Year’s Eve.
“We normally have our Safe and Sober program on holiday weekends,” said Officer Colby Palmersheim, who also will be on duty this Christmas Day.
“Safe and Sober is a government grant that provides money for traffic enforcement equipment, and for additional overtime officers to be able to enforce more traffic laws,” explained Palmersheim.
The Worthington Police Department has been involved with this program since 1999 and is a three-time winner of Safe and Sober grants.
Even though officers on duty may not be able to spend Christmas Day with their friends and family — officers say it’s all about rescheduling.
“Our families work around it, even if we get together a day or two after —it just matters that we do get together,” said Palmersheim.
“Whether we work nights, weekends or holidays, I can say that there isn’t anyone in the department who doesn’t love their job.”