By Ryan Honl 

Two New Officers Join the Warroad Police Department


April 27, 2024

Naomi Thompson

by Ryan Honl

For Police Officers Jace and Naomi Thompson, coming to Warroad was a no-brainer. Jace grew up in Warroad and both were interested in small town policing. They met while studying law enforcement at Vermilion Community College in Ely. They graduated last year and then went to the police academy also at Vermilion last fall. They married last October and started in Warroad in February, taking two open full-time positions in the department.

Jace is 21 and grew up on a cattle farm and is a graduate of Warroad High School, Class of 2021. Naomi, also 21, grew up about five hours south in Kimball, Minn, near St Cloud.

Asked why Jace chose to come back to Warroad he said, "Family and community. I wanted to come back to my home town." Jace played football, baseball, and basketball in Warroad. He went on to play football in college. He also hunted so that drew him back as well.

Naomi said of Warroad, "I love it. There's a really good sense of community. I like how you're still out in nature. When I was near St Cloud, yeah you could get a house out in the country, but you were still surrounded by big towns. I like it here up north." Naomi played volleyball, softball, and track & field in high school, continuing on with volleyball in college.

For Naomi it was either joining the military or becoming a police officer. Choosing to be a police officer these days is a big decision especially with all the criticism law enforcement has gotten across the country. Naomi said that's actually one of the big reasons why she chose policing.

"Law enforcement is a great way to serve people and the community," Naomi said. "With all of the stuff that was going on in Minneapolis, it really pushed me to do law enforcement more because I wanted to be the one person to make a difference in how people viewed law enforcement. I want to work day shift because I really want to go into the schools and walk around with the kids, eat lunch with them, and show them females can be police officers too. Law enforcement isn't full of bad guys. We're here to help you."

Naomi and Jace worked the same shift for a little bit as they were learning the ropes in Warroad, but now they work different regular 12 hour shifts. That doesn't leave much time to see each other the days they work but they do usually have the same days off about three days a week.

In their very short time on the force in Warroad they've discovered that there is a tremendous level of support and respect among the community.

"I've been stopped by like five or six people just within the last two weeks thanking me for being a police officer as well as being a female police officer," Naomi said.

"I've noticed people thanking us for being cops," Jace added. "Just driving around town you get a lot of waves."

Also as far as their boss Chief Wade Steinbring, Naomi said, "Working for Wade is very enjoyable. He lets us police as we see fit. Some people's niche is traffic stops. Others like nighttime work or working at the school. He lets us do what we enjoy in helping the community."!"

The toughest call they've gotten so far on the force was responding to Bruce Shaugabay's accident off Highway 11 a couple weeks ago. It was a bad one where they had to direct traffic and clear the highway for the helicopter to arrive.

Jace Thompson

As far as their future plans, they're definitely planning to stay on in Warroad well into the future while doing some farming. They recently bought a house on 12 acres. Naomi grew up around horses so they're planning on buying a couple of those as well as some cattle from Jace's dad. They don't have kids yet but plan to down the road. Naomi joked, "We have two dogs and six baby ducks if that counts as kids!"

The Warroad Police Department has four full-time officers and two part-time along with the Chief. They're working on possibly expanding in the next couple years to add new officers.

Naomi and Jace wanted to thank Chief Steinbring, Officers Travis Olafson and Josh Buckentin , as well as Sarah Hardwick, the city office administrator. And to the residents of Warroad Naomi said, "Thanks for welcoming us into the community. The waves always make our day!"


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