The City of Lennox and its residents rely on the Lennox Police Department, staffed full time by four officers, for round the clock protection. It’s a responsibility Chief Orv Jorgensen and his officers, Chad Papke, Will Ericksen and Derek Fischer, take to heart.
Jorgensen became Lennox’s chief about two and a half years ago. Previously, he worked at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, where he continues to help out on a part-time basis. Jorgensen was also the chief of the Marion, S.D. police department for 13 years and a police officer in the Navy for three years as well.
Some recent successes Chief Jorgensen is happy with include the new texting alert program he encouraged the city to pursue, MyTownText. The service allows city officials to provide subscribing residents with information in emergency situations, or routine reminders like snow alerts.
“It’s similar to the school’s notification system, but for city alerts, like for snow alerts or water main break information,” Jorgensen explained. He credits the system with reducing the average number of cars towed following a snow event from 16 to, most recently, zero. Tickets are also down.
Before the texting program was implemented earlier this year, 22 tickets were issued for vehicles that remained on city streets after plowing had begun. Following the first storm since the program was put in place, zero tickets were written. “The alert system has helped a lot and the city was able to get the streets much more cleared off than usual because cars were not in the way of the plows,” Jorgensen said.
To sign up for the MyTownText program, text “alerts” to 605-277-4029.
Increased communication is just one way Jorgensen and his officers work with the city to keep Lennox residents and visitors safe. He and the department’s three full time officers work 12 hour shifts to provide coverage 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Six part time officers also help out as needed.
“Lennox is a great town to work in and is mostly pro-law enforcement,” said Jorgensen. The LPD officers are proud to display their new uniform patches, designed by the chief as part of the effort to connect with the community. The patches now feature the Oriole bird, the Lennox School District’s mascot. In addition to being a show of community solidarity, Jorgensen hopes the patches will help build trust between LPD officers and Lennox students, who are often barometers of the level of domestic tranquility within the community.
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