His easy smile, quick laugh, and the shared camaraderie with his brothers in blue makes it seem as though Officer James Reynolds has long been a part of the Missouri Valley Police force. In reality, Reynolds is new to the position.
Officially hired by City Council at the Oct. 1 meeting, Reynolds began working full-time on Oct. 7.
Reynolds comes to the local police department with a degree in criminal justice and general business, as well as experience from the Red Oak Police department where he was a reserve officer.
“I’ve been working, pretty much, almost every weekend. I would come back from college and work every weekend or two,” he said. “It confirmed that this is what I want to do.”
Because he holds a criminal justice degree, Reynolds will be able to attend the eight-week police academy training within his first year, as opposed to the 16-week course, according to Chief Ed Murray.
Reynolds is accustomed to smaller, rural communities, having grown up in Griswold.
He played golf in high school, and at the time, Griswold and Missouri Valley were in the same conference, so he has played the local course.
He followed up his high school golf career with the Warriors while earning his degrees at Midland University in Fremont, Neb.
Reynolds began thinking of a career in law enforcement early in high school and said that his family encouraged him.
“I got a lot of support,” he said. “My mom is a court reporter, so she has been around law enforcement.”
Reynolds said he looks forward to learning the layout of the town and getting to know the citizens.
He is currently commuting into town and training with MVPD officers. This will give him time to learn the streets, the citizens, and the computer system while he is taking calls.
After just a few days in Missouri Valley, Reynolds said he enjoys that the public trusts and respects the local department.
“Law enforcement currently has a bad public image, but what I have seen, people respect law enforcement here,” he said. “Every day is different. I don’t have to sit at a desk all day, every day.”
So, what is in his five-year plan?
“I‘d like a leadership role, and I’d like to teach, whether it’s firearms or something else,” he said. “I’d like to be able to teach.”