Oakdale welcomes new police officers

The Oakdale City Council held a swearing in ceremony for two new police officers.
The Oakdale City Council held a swearing in ceremony for two new police officers. Officers Joshua Radmonovich (above) and Ryan O’Rourke (below) pose with loved ones and council members after each took his oath of office. (Submitted photos)
The Oakdale City Council held a swearing in ceremony for two new police officers.

The Oakdale City Council approved the hiring of two new patrol officers to the city’s police department at last week’s council meeting.  Mayor Carmen Sarrack administered the oath of office for officers Joshua Radmanovich and Ryan O’Rourke on Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Prior to the swearing in ceremony, Chief Bill Sullivan introduced them to council members. He said it was a “highly competitive and selective hiring process,” noting that his office took special care to find and hire the right candidates.

“They both came highly recommended,” he said. “ I think we’ve all seen on the news lately that it’s becoming an increasingly complex job.”

Sullivan said his department has had several retirements over the past year. Radmonovich and O’Rourke will bring the police force back to full strength, with 32 full-time officers.

He said it was an unusual practice to swear in two officers on the same evening, but it was done because there is only one council meeting scheduled for December, and the department was anxious to get them on board.

Sullivan explained that the recommendation was made to appoint Radmonovich, who was hired first, no sooner than Nov. 26, and O’Rourke no sooner than Nov. 27. The department chose to stagger their official starting dates in order to establish seniority for shift bidding and other contractual obligations.

Following the brief swearing-in ceremony, Sullivan, Radmonovich, O’Rourke and a few dozen family and friends joined other members of the Oakdale Police Department on the second floor of City Hall for a reception held in the two new police officers’ honor.

Both men spoke with the Review briefly prior to dinner and in between photographs and congratulations from loved ones and fellow officers.

Radmonovich, originally from Cottage Grove, is a Stillwater Area High School graduate. He said the school’s resource officer got him interested in a career in law enforcement.  The 23-year-old Stillwater resident said he was drawn to police work, like most other police officers, because he wants to help protect and serve residents in the community.  He thinks helping those in need will be fulfilling work.

“I’m absolutely looking forward to this and excited to start,” he said.

O’Rourke, 22, shared his colleague’s sentiment.

“Throughout school I always had an interest in protecting people and cared for the well being of others,” he said.

O’Rourke says that interest grew when he joined Oakdale’s Police Explorers Club. The club offers mentorship opportunities for teens and provides training in different areas of law enforcement.

Originally from Brainerd, O’Rourke moved to North St. Paul in sixth grade and is a North High graduate. He recently moved back to the city after completing his college degree.

Like Radmonovich, O’Rourke said he is eager to begin his career as a patrol officer.

Sullivan said both men would start field training within the next couple of weeks.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7822.

 

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