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Worthington community service officer to retire

Onnen has been in the position for 23 years.

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Retiring Worthington Police Officer Myra Onnen 07 15 21. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Twenty-three years after starting her job as Worthington's Community Service Officer, Myra Onnen is set to retire after clocking out Thursday.

The position was actually created for her, just nine months after she accepted a position in downtown parking enforcement. Since 1998, Onnen has been responsible for handling complaints about public nuisances such as vehicles or indoor furniture in yards, unkempt lawns and snow/ice not removed from sidewalks.

Folks aren't always happy to see Onnen coming and, over the years, she's had to handle her fair share of city residents upset at her enforcement of ordinances. It's a job that requires a thick skin.

"I don't think I'm really tough," Onnen said. "I just went out and did it."

When faced with an angry resident, Onnen said she just explains the law and encourages the person to do their part to help keep Worthington the beautiful town that it is.

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"Keeping the city beautiful is always my goal," she said. "It's been a really rewarding position for me."

In retirement, Onnen plans to enjoy the beauty of nature. She and her husband, Wally, love bringing their camper wherever they can and spending time in the outdoors together. They have other travel plans, too, including a Mackinac Island, Michigan, trip next month, where they'll ride their bikes around the island for a week.

And, of course, there will be lots more time to visit the grandkids in Shakopee.

Although she's looking forward to retirement, Onnen will miss her co-workers at the Worthington Police Department.

"It's going to be a really tearful day on Thursday," she said.

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