Kenyon Police Chief Lee Sjolander joined us on the Kenyon-Wanamingo Area News on KDHL earlier this week.  He told us when he became the Kenyon Police Chief in 2007 he knew he was going to implement a "Shops with Cops Program" because he benefited from it as a kid growing up in Austin, Mn.

Sjolander says, "Officer Amy has kinda taken that over and God bless her for doing it because she does an amazing job.  What we're doing this year is more of what I would call a virtual shop with cops of course with the pandemic and guidelines in place it's hard to be with a bunch of people and go shopping.  So she's finding some families in need.  Talking to them.  Getting items for them.  We'll do all the wrapping and so forth and then we'll line up a time that they can come and safely pick up the items."

If you want to help the program the Kenyon Police Chief says it's pretty simple, "You can make a monetary donation to the city if that's something you'd like to do and just, in the memo if it's a check or something or just let city staff know it's for shops with cops.  If you (know of ) a family in need in the Kenyon area just notify us.  Just call our office or city hall and say hey I have a family that could maybe benefit from this. This year has been unprecedented and I think there's way more need then we've ever had before."

I asked Sjolander about a deadline.  His reply, "Officer Amy works miracles so I would say you could probably go until the 15th or 16th maybe.  She's amazing, I'm so blessed to have staff members across the board."

"We've done it in years past where we've done most of the shopping all locally but with the pandemic and so forth it's been really, really tough. It's nice to get some of these kids out and about and introduce them to local, small town shopping as well but this year has been very difficult that way."

Sjolander agreed the citizens of Kenyon have a huge heart saying, "We've seem some amazing, amazing things.  For example we have a pantry of food items in the front of what will be the old police station that people keep stocked for those in need.  That pantry will stay when we move to our new offices soon."

The new buildings (the old ambulance garage) is located at the corner of Langford Avenue and Second Street .(Kenyon's main street)

Sjolander says, "We've got furniture in there now.  We've got supplies in there.  Linda is working the front desk.  She's amazing and we've had a really good year with so many people helping get this project completed. From local contractors to internet gurus that can hook things up.  Everyone's really helped out well."

Sjolander concluded, "I'm really blessed to be here."  I get the sense the Kenyon community also feels blessed to have Sjolander as their police chief.


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