REED CITY — Karen Lindstrom retired this year from police work. Or she thought she had until she heard about the open position for a liaison officer for Reed City Area Public Schools.

Lindstrom, a former Michigan State Police officer, retired in April after more than two decades in law enforcement. The Mecosta County resident had no intention of working as a police officer, but after seeing an article in the Pioneer about the position, she felt called to apply.

“I did not plan to be wearing a uniform again, but I read the article and felt like I should do this,” Lindstrom said. “I’ve been in law enforcement for 26 years, police work is what I know, but I’d rather be more of an advocate for kids than an enforcer.”

Last year, RCAPS eliminated the liaison position after budget reductions, but a $20,000 donation from Albert Rohe made it possible to bring the liaison officer program back.

After she finished reading the article about the donation and the search for the right candidate, Lindstrom jumped in her car and headed to Reed City.

“I’m really not exaggerating when I say I heard about the position and drove to the Reed City Police Department immediately to apply,” Lindstrom said.

“I could tell when I first talked to her that she had a passion for this work,” said Reed City Police Chief Chuck Davis.

Lindstrom started working in the schools in November and has been busy ever since, Davis said. Having the position filled has tremendously helped the Reed City Police Department and the schools.

“What’s nice about this position is the officer is focused completely on the school,” Davis said. “It’s a lot of work and when we were getting calls from the schools and sending an officer to them, it really adds a lot to our plate. Now they can call her because that’s what she’s here for.”

The interaction with students and building relationships with them are some aspects of the job Lindstrom is looking forward to.

Providing guidance and being someone students can turn to are what Lindstrom strives for.

“I’m hoping to set a good example and maybe help teach the students things that they might not know, but that they need to,” Lindstrom said. “I’m not necessarily talking about academic things, but life things.”

The donation to fund the position is for one year, but Davis said the school district is hopeful the funding which was lost last year will be available again soon to keep the position.

“We’re just happy to have the program back and have an officer with her experience level,” Davis said. “I know she’ll fit in very well and she will make a difference.”