Along with creating growth and learning pathways for those interested in law enforcement careers, the Golden Valley Police Department (GVPD) is focusing ongoing recruitment efforts on hiring lateral officers who bring experience and leadership skills from other departments. Field Training and Patrol Officer Justin Kotajarvi and Patrol Officer Stacy Lakotas are two of the GVPD’s most recent lateral hires.
Kotajarvi was formerly an officer and deputy in southeast Minnesota. He was drawn to the GVPD because of the “many opportunities the department provides, particularly for advancement.”
“My favorite part of working with the GVPD is the team I work every shift with,” added Kotajarvi. “My partners are proactive and willing to help me and each other out on a daily basis.”
Lakotas served at the Hopkins Police Department for more than two decades. She felt compelled to join the GVPD after learning about its need for officers and recognizing an opportunity to use her experience and contribute to the community.
“I want to help this department continue to move forward,” said Lakotas. “There is respect both ways in this community, and I am excited to continue this new adventure.”
Assistant Police Chief Alice White, who spearheads the hiring process, emphasized the GVPD’s focus on integrity, strong foundational values, and a commitment to service when selecting lateral officers. She also noted the City’s specific hiring requirement for lateral officers is at least a year of prior experience with another department.
“These individuals, already well-trained, can seamlessly integrate into the department and contribute to our progressive approach to public safety,” said White. “This includes reimagining public safety and looking at different ways to achieve the department’s goals while minimizing harm to the community.”
To learn more about the GVPD, its work, and how to get involved, visit the Police page.