The new boy in blue walking the hallways at Pequot Lakes High School is Chad Nangle, the Pequot Lakes police officer who this year became the school resource officer.
Chad joined the Pequot Lakes Police Department in 1999 as a part-time officer and two years later became a full-time officer. And he doesn’t plan to go anywhere else soon.
“It’s just plain beautiful up here. Who’d want to live anywhere else?” he said.
Chad was born in South Dakota and grew up in a small farming community in southwest Minnesota. He graduated from Fulda High School and attended junior college to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.
His father, a teacher, also served the volunteer ambulance service in Fulda.
“So I was always around law enforcement, ambulance and fire,” Chad said. “You know everyone in a small town so I was friends with chiefs and officers and started riding with them.”
One of those officers was from Brainerd and told Chad to consider attending what was then Brainerd Community College for a law enforcement career.
“Two weeks later I moved here,” Chad said, and he got his degree in law enforcement.
Why did he choose the Brainerd area?
“I moved up here because there are trees and lakes are more than 10 feet deep,” he said with a smile.
He dove right in, starting as a part-time officer on July 4, one of the busiest days of the year in Pequot Lakes.
Chad and his wife, Jennifer, live in Breezy Point with their two sons. Chad enjoys being outside, including fishing, hunting and golfing, though he hasn’t golfed in awhile.
The shift to working as the school resource officer is a big change for Chad.
“For the majority of my employment I’ve worked nights,” he said.
But he was always interested in working in the schools.
“The interest was always there to work with kids and be in the school,” Chad said.
He’s adjusting to the learning curve, but wanted to dispel the misconception of what a school resource officer does.
“Basically, I’m here to help the faculty and administrators of the school provide a safe environment for the kids,” he said.
Chad has gone into the classroom to talk to students in the past, and he enjoyed it and looks forward to doing that again.