When the City of St. Peter and Saint Peter Public School District approved the hiring of a second Police Liaison Officer for the school district they turned to a familiar face to fill the new position.
Local law enforcement officer Jon Hughes, who has worked with the St. Peter Police Department since 2012 and worked as deputy with the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office prior to that, began his collaborative position in mid-January and has already been busy familiarizing himself with the students and buildings. He will team up with Tom Winsell to cover District 508’s five main buildings (Saint Peter High School, Saint Peter Middle School, North Elementary, South Elementary, and MVED). When school isn’t in session during the summer months, he will resume his regular patrol duties with St. Peter Police.
“I’m very excited about my new role here as the second School Liaison Officer working with Saint Peter Public Schools,” Hughes said. “It will be much easier now to take care of the responsibilities we have at all five buildings with two officers (Hughes and Tom Winsell) instead of just one as they had here for many years.
“I’m primarily responsible for all calls at Saint Peter Middle School and North Elementary, while Tom takes care of Saint Peter High School and MVED. Together we will share coverage at South Elementary, but both of us are able help out at any of the buildings if needed. Tom has done an excellent job during his time here and I hope to emulate what he has done.”
Hughes is no stranger to Saint Peter Public Schools having assisted Winsell with ALICE training for school staff and students in each of the buildings as well as other duties. He’s also a parent of a school-aged child attending classes at SPPS.
“Right now I’ve kept busy reaching out to students and staff and getting them familiar with having me around at the Middle School and North,” Hughes said. “I want students to feel comfortable enough with me to approach me whether it’s just to have a friendly chat or talk about a more serious matter.
“I’m very focused on addressing issues such as bullying and harassment in each of the buildings as well as connecting with students through support groups, houses, and possibly reestablishing a school patrol group. I’m also planning on continuing activities such as Shop With a Hero and Casting With Cops, which help build relationships with the kids. I also plan to start reading in the different classrooms as another way to connect and let the kids know I’m here for them.”