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To protect and serve: Denny Schnathorst, trooper, Iowa State Patrol

Denny Schnathorst

How long have you been in law enforcement?

28 years.

What other law enforcement positions/departments have you served in?

State of Iowa Capitol Police my first year and then transferred to Iowa State Patrol.

What’s an interesting fact about you that some might not know?

I work part time for a farmer driving a semi.

What’s the most memorable incident you’ve responded to?

A 4 1/2 day hostage situation in Indianola in 1999 and the incident in Rockwell City (the September 2013 shooting of Officer Jamie Buenting).

What’s the best part of your day?

The best part of my day is when I can help a member of the public that needs assistance or another officer that needs assistance.

What gives you the most satisfaction in your job?

When someone thanks an officer for something. I recently had a gentleman tell me that one of my co-workers saved his life several years ago by arresting him. The gentleman asked me to pass along his gratitude to my co-worker. My co-worker remembered the subject and the incident and was very happy to hear that the gentleman was doing so well and that his life had been changed. These are the success stories that you don’t hear often but they mean the most when you do hear them.

What’s the toughest part about your job?

The toughest part for me is approaching someone that you’ve never met and you have to instantly adapt to their personality and their experiences with law enforcement that you are completely unaware of. Most of their experiences were very positive but some were negative for one reason or another and you must deal with those and deal with the issue at hand and help them come to a resolution that is agreeable to all parties involved.

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