To say Officer McKenzie Hazen brings a diverse background to the New Richmond Police Department and the City of New Richmond is an understatement.
Hazen will replace Officer Aaron Anderson, who is the the new New Richmond Student Resource Officer; she interned with the Menomonie Police Department for two years while she got her bachelor's degree in criminal justice and rehab from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She then worked for the Eau Claire Police Department as a community service officer and later worked at the juvenile detention center in Eau Claire. Hazen spent the last two years working for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Police Department, which was her first job.
"McKenzie came to us with a really nice, diverse experience level from her SCO time and everything else. Her background is very community-oriented, including dealing with juveniles," Yehlik said. "I think her diverse background benefits the city, our department and the community. Over the last couple weeks, she has fit in really well with our staff."
According to Yehlik, the department will continue to provide additional training for Hazen in areas they think she will excel at to take advantage of her diverse background.
Hazen, who is originally from the Eau Claire area, graduated from Elk Mound High School before attending UW-Stout.
"I've always wanted to work for a city department. Starting off at Menomonie, I really liked it there and working with the community," Hazen said. "I like the size of New Richmond and the department. After Craig took over, I heard a lot of good things about the department and I got a lot of good recommendations."
Hazen said, although she has been on patrol for just a few weeks, that she has already come to like the New Richmond community and that people have been friendly. She has enjoyed getting to know everyone in the department.
"I'm pretty open, so anybody that wants to come up and chat, I'll chat for awhile," Hazen said. "I love animals, so if somebody wants to tell me about their dog, I'll sit and listen."