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By Marvin Baker
If you haven’t already, you will probably see the newest member of the Kenmare Police Department patrolling the streets around town.
And, if you’re out speeding on U.S. Highway 52, you may certainly meet her.
Allisha Britton joined the force last week and has been seen out on the beat with other Kenmare officers.
Britton, who has a criminal justice administration degree from the University of Phoenix, will spend several months in training with police chief Gary Kraft, officer Jason Cartier and Kyle Kienholz before heading off to the Law Enforcement Academy on the campus of Bismarck State College.
Upon completion of that course in September, Britton will possess all the necessary credentials to be a police officer in the state of North Dakota.
She actually got her first snapshot of North Dakota law enforcement on March 6 during a mock shooting in the local high school.
Britton was an active participant and interacted with her now colleagues, Ward County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Border Patrol and North Dakota Game & Fish Department, as well as Kenmare Ambulance and Kenmare Fire Department.
Britton, who had been a custodian in the Kenmare Public School District, is transitioning out of that job and will officially begin her duties with the police department on June 1.
“I was working at the school, there was an opening and I applied,” Britton said. “I’m still getting to know everyone and I really enjoy the community. It’s going to be great. I love it.”
Kenmare city auditor Barb Weidmer said Britton went through the interview process and was offered the position and will work under limited license until she completes her courses in the police academy.
Britton grew up in Redding, Calif., which is quite a departure from Kenmare. Redding is a city of 90,000 in the Sacramento Valley in northern California, while Kenmare has 1,100 population on the prairie near the Canadian border.
“It’s a dramatic change,” Britton said. “I feel like it is safer here. There is not as much crime.”
Kienholz, who was training Britton on Friday, said it will be great having her on the force. Because she is female, he said she will bring a brand new perspective to local law enforcement, at least in northern Ward County.
Kienholz, who said a fourth officer will certainly alleviate some extra time he and his two colleagues have been putting in. Four cops will now work a 24-hour shift, instead of three personnel working around the clock.
He added it will be advantageous to have a female on duty if and when the time comes when females are arrested and need to be searched.
“I have an advantage and it is to build rapport with the victim,” Britton said. “And females can diffuse situations. We’ll use less physical force and more communications tactics.”
Britton becomes the first female officer that Kenmare has had and is in a highly sought after employ in North Dakota. Several small and mid-sized North Dakota communities have added female police officers to build better relationships with local residents.
“I’m family oriented and am looking to get to know everyone,” Britton said. “I hope to meet everyone in town...” Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!