The Blair Police Department (BPD) has two new officers.
Kelly McManigal and Alyssa Range were sworn in Oct. 9 in front of the Blair City Council. Both are Nebraska Law Enforcement certified officers.
McManigal, originally from Blair, is married with two children and has a four-year degree. He has prior experience with the Burt County Sheriff's Office, Tekamah police and Fremont police. He has also worked part-time for the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Range is single and a has a four-year degree. Her prior experience includes working as a deputy and a corrections officer for the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office.
Where did you work prior to becoming a Blair officer?
McManigal: I worked at Fremont Police Department for about 3 1/2 years. I was a certified officer in 2012. I worked for Fremont and before that I was with Tekamah for four months and then I was with the Burt County Sheriff's Office for 2 1/2 years.
Range: Sarpy County Sheriff's Office. I was on rotation on the road with them for 11 months. I was a corrections officer for a little over a year-and-a-half.
Why did you want to work for BPD?
McManigal: I started a family and when I got hired on at Fremont, I thought I was going to move to Fremont and raise my family there. However, I saw the differences in the schools and the structure of the school system there and I knew what it was here and I preferred it here. I spoke with my wife and we decided we would move to Blair, where I grew up. As my kids continued to age, it was time for me to come home and be around more. It would help my home life. I was also ready to serve the community I grew up in. I looked up to the Blair Police Department when I was in my teens and established that this was what I wanted to do for my career.
Range: I went to college in a small town and really liked just the personal relationships that you have with people. It's not necessarily seeing how many people you can take to jail at any given time, it's getting to know the people in a small town and helping them out with whatever you can and actually having a relationship with people and feeling like you are making a difference.
What do you enjoy about law enforcement?
McManigal: Helping people. I like arresting the bad guys. There are plenty of bad guys that need to be arrested and I enjoy that. I get satisfaction out of that. I like helping kids, in particular. When you see that they are in a bad situation, it's nice to know that you have resources that you can offer to them and help them out of a situation.
Range: Interaction with the community. I didn't mind being a corrections officer, but it's the same thing every single day, the same people. You're not out and about. I didn't feel like I was making too much of a difference. It wasn't exactly what my end goal was.
What do you think is the most challenging part of your job?
McManigal: Reflecting back to the kids. There are situations we get put in where we don't have a choice as far as taking kids out of the home or arresting mom or dad. You can see that visually affects everyone in that household. I took it upon myself throughout my career to follow up on cases like that sometimes when it was special circumstances to ensure that normal activities throughout the household are maintained.
Range: Some of the situations where you see the people hurt, the calls that you go to. We had a phone call earlier today where it was a possible child abuse, it's tough to hear that.