Officer Tyler Heiden
Officer Tyler Heiden
The Spring Grove City Council wasted no time during a special meeting held May 13, quickly voting to approve a hiring recommendation from Police Chief Paul Folz.

Folz has worked alone since full-time officer Linda Coffield left the city in November of 2011. The city's new officer is Tyler Heiden, who was introduced to the council during the meeting. His first day of work was May 15.

"I make a motion to hire Tyler as the second full-time officer of the Spring Grove Police Department," councilmember Nancy Nelson said.

There was no discussion either for or against the hiring following the motion. Seconded by councilman Robert Vogel, the vote to approve was unanimous. Heiden started at step one of the city's pay scale for his position.

Prior to the motion, Nelson had spoken briefly about what she considered inadequate police coverage, using a recent incident to illustrate her point. No council members took an opposing view on the matter.

"When can he start?" Mayor Bruce Poole asked Folz.

"As soon as tomorrow," he replied.

Folz also asked the council if they wished to utilize his "roster" officer (Tim Irwin) to cover vacation time later this year.

Nelson said that the item was not on the agenda, but it can be added to the list of topics for discussion at the May 21 regular council meeting.

About officer Heiden

After the meeting, Chief Folz provided some additional information.

"Tyler is originally from Houston (Minn.), where he graduated from Houston High School," he reported.

"He attended Rochester Community and Technical College where he graduated with an associates degree in Law Enforcement, then continued at Winona State University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice.

"Tyler graduated and has worked part time for the Dodge County Sheriff's Department and also the Caledonia Police Department, until being hired full time here in Spring Grove."

On a personal note, Folz added that he's known Heiden "since his pre-kindergarten days and his family for almost 20 years. Tyler has always been a genuine person, who has always desired to help a person along with the desire to go the extra mile to do anything for his fellow man, which makes him a great candidate for law enforcement.

"Tyler has law enforcement in his DNA, since his grandfather worked for the La Crosse (Wis.) Police Department for 30 years and retired at the rank of sergeant.

"He also is beginning his married life, as he recently became engaged to his fiancée who is an officer for the Caledonia Police Department."

Folz noted, "Tyler's positive outlook and his high-voltage enthusiasm for daily police activities... have a (positive) effect on everyone."