Officer Tim Melver is Chatfield’s newest full-time police officer.  GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Officer Tim Melver is Chatfield’s newest full-time police officer. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Tim Melver is excited about the real hours.

"I'm looking forward to a real schedule, hours I can actually count on," said Melver, Chatfield's newest full-time police officer. "I'm looking forward to having one job instead of four - I was a part-time deputy with Fillmore County, I was a dispatcher for Fillmore County and I was with the Preston and Chatfield police departments."

Preston native Melver wanted to grow up to be either a law enforcement officer, a paramedic or a farmer, but in the end, chose to become a law enforcement officer.

"I have a cousin who worked in law enforcement and he was just a role model for me growing up, so I was going off that," he said. "If I wasn't an officer, I wanted to be a paramedic, and I grew up helping on the farm, so that was on the back burner, too."

Melver said he likes the whole aspect of helping the community - going on ambulance calls, connecting with a wide variety of people, holding bike safety programs for kids, helping people put car seats in cars for their children, promoting seatbelt safety, the whole deal.

He attended Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) for his law enforcement education, graduating in June 2011. He accepted his first job with the Preston Police Department in August 2011. He joined the Chatfield department as a part-time officer in September 2012 and gained employment with Fillmore County in December 2012.

Melver related that what he learned in law enforcement school and the practical application of being a police officer are two different things. He felt training on the job has been particularly useful.

"What they teach in school and being a real cop are night and day," he commented, "because at school, they teach the actual basics and then you go out in a training program to learn the rest."

Melver said "learning the rest" meant that it wasn't uncommon to put in a 50-hour week. Thankfully, he describes himself as easy to get along with and easygoing.

He spends his spare time - something he didn't have much of while juggling the responsibilities of four jobs - bow-hunting and practicing his archery, managing the whitetail deer on the family farm and putting his feet up, not worrying about work for a minute or two so that he can be ready when it's time to put on his badge.

Melver and his fiancé currently live in Preston, but they're hoping to find a house in Chatfield sometime soon to make his commute to work shorter.

"We want to live in Chatfield, but it depends on when my fiancé and I find a house," he concluded. "I'm engaged and we're going to be married this summer. Everything is starting to really fall into place - I have a full-time job, I'm getting married, everything's falling where it needs to be."