Cornell senior hired as local police officer

From walking the ped mall on the Cornell College campus to driving a squad car on the streets of Mount Vernon and Lisbon, one senior is ready for the next steps in her career.

Emily Beehler
Emily Beehler

In fact, Emily Beehler has already been hired as Mount Vernon’s first full-time female officer and has started training, even though she’s finishing up a couple of classes at Cornell prior to graduation in May.

“I was honored and excited to hire Emily,” said Mount Vernon-Lisbon Police Chief Doug Shannon. “It was apparent from her internship that law enforcement is a calling for Emily and she has a strong desire to help others. I have no doubt Emily will excel at whatever she pursues during her career.”   

Beehler, a politics major, started her training with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, online, at the beginning of January and will complete training in April. At the same time, she’s working through her senior seminar and finishing a couple of independent study blocks.

“I am excited to graduate the academy and get onto the streets of Mount Vernon and Lisbon,” Beehler said. “This has all been in process for a long time now, so I am eager to get my career started. I hope that I can make some positive impacts in our communities.” 

Beehler started an internship with the police department her sophomore year. Then, the Wisconsin native was hired as a volunteer reserve officer in December of 2019. When she wasn’t playing volleyball and lacrosse, the student-athlete spent as much time as possible learning everything she could about policing and working on receiving her certifications.

“Once I finished my driving certification, I was able to drive,” Beehler said. “I was always with another full-time officer. I rode mostly on the weekends when I didn’t have athletics or school. Some weeknights I rode until about 3 or 4 a.m. just trying to soak in as much experience as I could.” 

Beehler said she didn’t always know she wanted to become a police officer, but her interest started when she had a goal of working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Drug Enforcement Agency. She signed on for an internship with the Mount Vernon Police Department knowing she needed some experience with law enforcement and discovered her passion for the career.

“I look forward to seeing Emily develop as an officer and bringing her energy and new ideas to the department,” Shannon said. “Obviously, her personality and experiences at Cornell will be useful in continuing to foster positive relationships between the police and Cornell students and staff, as well as within the larger Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community. Having a female officer available to work with crisis situations can be helpful in certain encounters.”

The Mount Vernon and Lisbon Police Departments recently combined forces, so now Beehler will be one of two full-time female officers. She is looking forward to working with a team that she says always makes her feel welcome.

“All of the officers have different insights and tips within our department, and there is always something different to learn from all of them,” Beehler said. “Whether it be working with the K-9 unit and his handler to doing classes in the high school with Chief Shannon, I am constantly learning new things.”

After her training with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, Beehler will return to Mount Vernon as a police officer and will continue field training. Shannon says Beehler will be assigned to patrol, which means she’ll be actively involved in all aspects of the department from patrolling to investigations and community policing. 

The Cornell College senior is looking forward to meeting more members of the community as she steps into this new role.