After 42 years spent with the Jamestown Police Department, Captain John Gletne has earned himself name recognition within the community.
Gletne retired from the department Friday after a career that started as a patrolman in 1978.
Shortly thereafter, a teacher in Jamestown introduced him as Officer John rather than Officer Gletne to class when he appeared before them as the juvenile officer for the department.
"Pretty soon that stuck," Gletne said. "It has moved through the generations and now the kids of those students are referring to me as Officer John."
Gletne said starting the school program was the most memorable part of his time with the department.
"When I became the juvenile officer with the Jamestown Police Department, I designed, developed and implemented community policing and prevention programs in the schools," he said. "Other community programs that were presented include, child find fingerprint programs, just say no to drugs programs, Minnesota Vikings crime prevention trading card program, bicycle rodeos, bicycle helmet program, McGruff (the crime dog) crime prevention programs and law day programs."
His career in law enforcement has not entirely been working with juveniles.
Gletne has been the aircraft pilot for the Drug Task Force in the region, gaming enforcement officer for the city of Jamestown and compliance officer for the sex offender registration program in the city.
He said it is the variety of those opportunities that have kept him with the JPD.
"That variety piqued my interest," Gletne said. "I have to give thanks to the police chiefs, supervisors and officers who have given me those opportunities."
Gletne graduated high school in Moorhead, Minnesota and attended college in Arizona, receiving a degree in criminal justice in 1976. He worked about a year in Carrington before joining the Jamestown Police Department.
"In John's career, he fulfilled many roles and positions within the police department," said Justin Blinsky, assistant chief of the department. "He was someone that you could always depend on and was very personable and approachable. As a leader within the department, I always valued and sought his input and perspective on various topics/issues that would arise."
One of the many positions Gletne has held in the Department was as interim police chief in 2012.
"We were appreciative of his years of service," said Katie (Anderson) Hemmer, mayor of Jamestown in 2012. "He stepped up as the interim chief and filled that capacity while we searched for a new chief."
Gletne has also served as captain of detectives for the JPD since 2016, along with supported programs to improve the community.
"If I had to describe John, I would say he was always a constant professional and was always an advocate for what is right," Blinsky said. "He was always looking out for everyone, whether you were a victim of a crime or a member of the department."
Officer John's community involvement has included groups such as the Red Cross, Safe Shelter and many others.
"It has all been educational and informative," he said. "I've met a lot of great people along the way."
Gletne's retirement plans include spending more time with family and life at a lake home in Minnesota.