Adrian Police Officer Ashley Kane driven by a need to help and a love of community

“I love being able to be there for someone when it might not be the best hour of their life," said Kane, "and being a friendly face, someone they know, can help calm them down, make things easier.”

Ashley Kane
Officer Ashley Kane has been with the Adrian Police Department since 2018.
Emma McNamee / The Globe

ADRIAN — Since 2018, Ashley Kane has been a member of the Adrian Police Department, and in that time, few things have become as important to her as the local community she serves.

Here are some of the more significant changes to the state's crime and criminal justice code this year.
The missing kayaker is described as a white male, 39 years of age, and is 5-feet,10-inches tall and approximately 200 pounds, according to a Stearns County Sheriff's Office news release.
The man was found outside his home Monday evening, May 29, 2023. The fire marshal is investigating the incident.

Part of Kane’s drive to work in law enforcement stems from the events of 9/11. It was a scary time, she recalled, but in the wake of it, a question stuck with her, one that has shaped her career.

“I had a teacher who asked our class, 'Do you think you’re the type of person who could run into danger?’” she said. “And I just remember thinking, yeah, I could do that … just to help one person, I could do that.”

Partway through her law enforcement education, though, Kane began to have doubts. She dropped out of the program and took odd jobs for a period of time. She spent some time working retail, then took a job with Polaris. With Habilitative Services, Inc., she worked with people with disabilities — an experience Kane says has helped her be more understanding during her interactions as a police officer.

As she tested out other careers, her uncompleted law enforcement training was eating at her.


“My parents raised me with the idea that … if you can help somebody, you should help,” said Kane, who grew up in the Round Lake area. “It was just kind of hardwired in my brain, and I can’t even really put my finger on why, that this was the way I could help people if I would just go and do it.”

Community Pride logo.jpg

Kane reenrolled, and in 2015, she graduated from Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s law enforcement program. She was hired as an officer in Heron Lake, where she stayed for three years before joining the Adrian Police Department.

“This town has been nothing but welcoming and open-armed to me,” Kane said. “I’ve been here five years, and I just like it here a lot.”

Typically, Kane works the afternoon shift. She goes on patrol, monitors traffic and takes calls when they come in. Some days, she spends her entire shift going where dispatch needs her. On slow days, she goes out into the community and talks with people — one of her favorite parts of the job.

“Bridging that gap and communicating with people, that’s so important,” she said. “The more people know you, the easier your calls go. It’s good to build that trust.”

“It’s very rewarding. I get to see the lightbulb click when kids really understand something,” Harrington said of his students. “I just felt I wanted to make some kind of difference in their lives.”
“I love health care because it really comes down to helping others.”
“The whole community came together, and we were able to contribute thousands of dollars and so much food and love and support, just off one social media post. And everyone is better for it.”
“I don’t consider myself to be very knowledgeable about Scripture. But I’m a Christian and I think I have good morals and a fair amount of common sense."
“The whole community of Worthington helped raise me,” said Kyaw, who moved to Nobles County with his mother in 2011 when she began working at JBS.
“I love being able to be there for someone when it might not be the best hour of their life," said Kane, "and being a friendly face, someone they know, can help calm them down, make things easier.”
“When the wind blows and everybody’s recyclables are out, oh there’s so much,” she said.
What started out as a screen printing business some 30 years ago has grown to include three embroidery machines, a laser engraver, and whatever else Jarett Hanten decides to try his hand at next.
“Give it a try. It’s an opportunity to meet people from different towns in a network outside of your hometown. You’ll meet a lot of wonderful people and it’s just a great thing to be a part of.”

The part of Kane’s job she likes best is working with kids, especially the students she interacts with through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

Shortly after joining the Adrian Police Department, Kane was approached about an opportunity to get involved with DARE, a 10-week program where, once a week, she goes into fifth-grade classrooms and talks with students about different topics like drug use prevention and violent behaviors.

The training was one of the hardest things Kane said she’s done during her law enforcement career. Not only was it a lot of information to cover, but to then translate all that information into something understandable for kids was a challenge.


“As much as the training wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I’ve gotten to communicate and have a relationship with these kids,” said Kane. “My goal is to prevent them from making a poor decision, but if they do make a mistake … I want them to feel like they can come to me.”

Along with her involvement in the DARE program, Kane started Adrian Community United, a non-profit group that focuses on bringing the community together. The organization puts on community nights out, which include free food, activities for kids and demonstrations by first responders. It gives the police, fire department and EMS teams an opportunity to interact with the public.

“You don’t want people, especially kids, to be scared of you and only see you during a bad time,” Kane said. “I love being able to be there for someone when it might not be the best hour of their life, and being a friendly face, someone they know, can help calm them down, make things easier.”

It is Kane's role as a DARE officer and founder of Adrian Community United that earned her a nomination for The Globe's Community Pride project. She was nominated by Sarah Lenz, who had this to say about Kane: "Ashley is always going above and beyond for the citizens in Adrian. No matter the time of day, Ashley is there for anyone. She has organized events for youth, found services for people in need and shelters people when they are stranded in storms at the emergency services building.

"When EMS volunteers, city staff, or residents need something, she is always willing to jump in and help," Lenz added. "If all they need is someone to listen to them, she lends an ear. Ashley is an extremely valuable asset to our community! Adrian is lucky to have her."

Kane admits her job can be difficult. There have been some rough calls during her time in Adrian, and she’s glad to have other law enforcement members and first responders to talk through some of the hardest times with, as well as support from her family.

In 2021, Kane was awarded special recognition for saving a life on a call, for a person who had nearly severed their hand. While Kane was the first on the scene and applied a tourniquet, she credits the save to the dispatchers, medical providers and other first responders. It’s a call she says she’s unlikely to ever forget.

“I’m always trying to learn from my past calls,” Kane said. “How can I do better next time, how do we reach more people? I’m always trying to keep moving forward.”


Despite the challenges that come with the job, Kane loves her work and being a part of the Adrian community.

“I don’t ever want to be a big town cop, with no time to talk to people,” she said. “I like where I’m at here. I’ll stay as long as they’ll have me.”

Headliners Chase Matthew and Fabulous Armadillos will take the stage Friday and Saturday, respectively, along with a well-rounded selection of opening acts.
Two individuals have been sentenced in cases previously reported on by the Globe.
Alex Duane Wildfeuer, 23, of Fulda, is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, involving a victim between the ages of 14 and 15.
Goodbyes are hard and often messy, no matter what you're letting go of.
“SRF’s process is rooted in listening to the community,” said Falker. “Engagement is really a key piece and will guide a lot of our decision-making.”
The Worthington City Council will host a special meeting at noon on Tuesday to discuss options.
“The biggest thing is, bikes are required to follow traffic laws just like a car would be. You don’t need a license, but you do have to obey the speed limits, stop signs, stuff like that.”
The city is expected to shoulder 78.4% of the project cost for concrete pavement improvement.
Oscar Ernesto Vides-Cabrera faces felony charges for first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm, third-degree assault involving a child under the age of four, third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm, and malicious punishment of a child.
Members of the household had a video showing that the individuals who came to their door were not associated with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
What To Read Next
Members Only
Get Local