Officer Brad Staner graduated from Hawkeye Regional Law Enforcement Academy in Waterloo May 21.

The Cascade Police Department has recently hired Officer Brad Staner. Growing up on a farm north of Cascade, Staner graduated from Loras College where he discovered his previously unknown passion for criminal justice.

“I started my field in education, thinking it was the route I wanted to take,” said Staner. “I ended up taking a course on criminal justice. From then on I was pretty much hooked on it. From there, I graduated and got hired part-time at the jail in Jackson County. During that time I used stepping stones up to working in the courthouse where I worked for another four and a half years as bailiff security.”

When Staner decided to join the Cascade Police Department, his prior experience in law enforcement allowed him to take a shorter certification class at Hawkeye Regional Law Enforcement Academy in Waterloo. Rather than a typical sixteen to seventeen-week long class, Staner only had ten weeks.

“The 16 or 17-week class is basically a boot camp,” described Staner. “You have to make your bed and they come to inspect everything. The ten-week is nothing like that. You stay off-campus, and there’s more hands-on in this academy I believe. You have everything from hours upon hours of medical to driving. We did night driving, night shooting, mental health and physical fitness. Basically, there are 30 different courses which you have to test out on.”

Staner was already an official Cascade police officer before attending the academy for his certification after being approved by the City Council earlier this year. The City also funded the academy education as an investment in its new officer.

Staner said he’s looking forward to his career in Cascade, preferring to focus on the small-town community and help out where he can.

“After working in a more chaotic department with a lot of activity, I wanted to focus on a smaller community like Cascade. I like it because I know so many people and can talk to anybody. Community relations are probably my biggest focus. Going to the football games, baseball games, deterring, that more proactive policing is what I want to do. Just being seen as a person people can come up to and have a conversation.”