Lester Prairie Police Department
By Robert Carlson
Lester Prairie Police Chief
The Lester Prairie Police Department is involved in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
The department has three full-time police officers and three active part-time police officers. Part-time officers are needed to fill in for vacation, training, special summer shifts, and sick time. The part-time officers have also been used for special activities (i.e. Prairie Days, Freedom Fest, and the bicycle rodeo) and emergencies (i.e. missing person search and suicides).
Police Chief Bob Carlson is responsible for the administration of the department. He works a regular patrol shift during the day, teaches Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) to fifth and eighth grade students during the school year, serves as the school liaison officer, and works with the city council and city department heads to make the city work efficiently.
Carlson represents the city of Lester Prairie in the following organizations and associations: McLeod County Chiefs of Police Association, president; Lester Prairie Community Youth Task Force, and the Crisis, Health and Safety and Student Assessment teams (Lester Prairie Public School).
Carlson’s office hours are 9 a.m. to noon weekdays.
The city of Lester Prairie has a city website at www.lesterprairiemn.us.
The department has a house watch form on the website, and will give homes special attention when residents are on vacation if we are notified. The department also has a “most wanted” section on the website, and hopes it will be a useful tool for residents to help us apprehend those with warrants for their arrest. An anonymous way to report crime is available by clicking on the CrimeStoppers of Minnesota link.
Officer Mark Thiry is the senior police officer of the department and has been a valuable employee of the city for more than 12 years.
Thiry is in charge of the Safe and Sober Challenge program and is our firearms and TASER instructor. Under Thiry’s direction, the Lester Prairie Police Department has received awards for the Minnesota Safe and Sober Challenge.
Officer Preston Voigt is the third full-time police officer, and has been an employee of the city for almost four years. He is in charge of the crime prevention detail and the fire department liaison, and National Night Out activities.
Other department activities include fifth grade and junior high DARE, bicycle safety, use of 911 and “stranger danger,” and Cub Scout presentations, participating in the “cards for kids program,” in which the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association distributes Minnesota sports cards to member law enforcement agencies. The cards have crime prevention tips on the back. The cards are used as a positive contact with children in the community.
Carlson encourages residents who have questions, concerns, or comments, to contact him at the (320) 395-2100, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.