Full-Time Officers

Chief Michael Hunter

Chief Hunter is a native of St Paul, Minnesota.  He attended Rosemount Senior High School and holds a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of St. Thomas.  Chief Hunter came to Fairmont in 1998 after serving in various law enforcement capacities since 1993 with the cities of Madelia, Burnsville and Minneapolis Police Departments.  In Fairmont he has served as a Patrol Officer, DARE Officer, School Resource Officer, Drug Interdiction Resource Team Member, Field Training Officer, Field Training Program Supervisor, Department Training Coordinator, Professional Standards Investigator, and Pre-Employment Background Investigator.  He is also a member of the regional Emergency Response Unit (HEAT), in which he has served as an entry team member and now currently serves as a Crisis Negotiator. Chief Hunter lives in Fairmont with his family and is proud of his officers and the community they serve. mhunter@fairmont.org

Captain Eric Tonder

Captain Tonder served active duty in the US Army overseas as an Intelligence Analyst after graduating high school. After completing his enlistment Captain Tonder earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and then began his career with the Fairmont Police Department in 1997 as a patrol officer. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2000, promoted to Detective in 2003, and most recently promoted to his current position as Captain in 2018. Captain Tonder has received training in several specialized areas of investigations, tactical operations, management, and leadership. He has served the department as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), Team Leader for the Emergency Response Unit (HEAT), Field Training Officer & Supervisor, Professional Standards Investigator, Department Training Coordinator, Firearms Instructor and Use of Force Instructor. Along with daily operations and personnel Captain Tonder manages predatory offender registration compliance, alcohol compliance education & enforcement, and the Citizens On Patrol (COP) program. Captain Tonder resides in the City of Fairmont with his family. He is honored to be a part of the Fairmont Police Department and our Community. Email: etonder@fairmont.org

Sergeant James Kotewa

Sergeant Kotewa is a native of Fairmont.  He attended Fairmont High School and holds a Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement and a Minor in Corrections from Mankato State University.  Sergeant Kotewa became a full-time Patrolman in 1997 after having worked part-time as a Bike Patrol Officer, Patrolman, and Animal Control Officer within the City of Fairmont.  Sergeant Kotewa also worked as a part-time patrolman in Truman and for the Sherburn/Welcome Police Department. As a Fairmont Officer he served as a Narcotic Agent assigned to the Drug Task Force from 1998 to 2000. He was promoted to Detective in 2000 and became a Sergeant in 2003. Sgt. Kotewa is a Minnesota Certified Emergency Manager and member of our Crisis Intervention Team.  Sergeant Kotewa has also trained as Pre-employment Background Investigator and performed Professional Standards Investigations for other Agencies.  Email: jkotewa@fairmont.org

Sergeant Chad Sanow

Sergeant Sanow graduated from High School in Jasper, Minnesota in 1993. He attended Willmar Community College where he received a degree in Criminal Justice. He then attended Alexandria Technical College for the Law Enforcement Skills program.  His first part-time law enforcement job was with Tyler Police Department. A short time later Sergeant Sanow became employed part-time with other agencies including Balaton Police Department, Marshall Police Department, Lyon County Sheriff’s Department, and Minneota Police Department. In October 1997, Sergeant Sanow began working full time with the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Department. He was given the opportunity to become a K-9 Handler in 1999 after raising the money to begin the program. In April 2004, He was hired full time for the Fairmont Police Department along with his K-9 partner “Chase”.  Sergeant Sanow also formerly served several years as K-9 handler for the Fairmont Police Department with his now retired K-9 partner “Jango”. Sergeant Sanow supervises the Field Training Officer program for the department and from 2019-2022 his supervisory duties changed to investigations and operations.  Sgt. Sanow returned to patrol duties in 2022 as Patrol Sergeant.  Email: csanow@fairmont.org

Sergeant Michael Beletti

Sergeant Beletti attended Alexandria Technical College where he obtained an AAS in Law Enforcement.  Sergeant Beletti began his law enforcement career in 2009 with the City of Winnebago, MN.  Sgt. Beletti worked as a part time officer in Fairmont before being hired full time with the City of Fairmont in 2014.  Sgt. Beletti was promoted to Patrol Sergeant in June of 2018.  Sgt. Beletti is a former School Resource Officer for the Fairmont Area Schools, Former Field Training Officer and currently serves as a Pre-Employment Background Investigator.  In 2022, Sgt. Beletti’s duties changed to Investigations and Operations as part of a three year rotation.  Sgt. Beletti enjoys spending his free time outdoors with his family and friends.  Email: mbeletti@fairmont.org

Sergeant Jaime Bleess

Sergeant Bleess is an alumnus of Mankato West High School and received his Bachelor’s Degree at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Sergeant Bleess served as the Director of Youth and Family Ministry at an 1,800 member church in Red Wing, MN for several years prior to completing his Law Enforcement Certificate at Rochester Community and Technical College. Sergeant Bleess served as a Police Reserve Officer for the Red Wing Police Department and had his full-time license activated by the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office where he served briefly in the Four Season Patrol Division. Sergeant Bleess was hired by the Fairmont Police Department in 2003 and has served as a Patrol Officer, School Resource Officer, CIT officer, Background Investigator, Field Training Officer, Summer Internship Coordinator, and Union Steward before being promoted to Sergeant in October of 2020. Sgt. Bleess currently leads efforts in community outreach and officer wellness. Email: jbleess@fairmont.org

Officer Bryan Boltjes

Officer Boltjes grew up in Worthington, Minnesota.  He attended Range Technical College in Hibbing where he obtained his AAS degree in Law Enforcement.  In 1995 he started his Law Enforcement career with the Ivanhoe Police Department and has also had experience with the cities of Lake Benton and Lakefield Police Departments.  In 1996 he began working for the Jackson Police Department.  While with Jackson, Officer Boltjes was assigned to the regional Emergency Response Unit (HEAT) and served as the department’s canine handler. In 2001, Officer Boltjes began working for the Fairmont Police Department as a patrol officer. Officer Boltjes has served as a canine handler from 2001-2008 with the Fairmont Police Department.  He has also served on the regional Emergency Response Unit (HEAT), the local Drug Interdiction Resource Team (DIRT), Uniform and Equipment Committee, and the Justice Council.  Email: bboltjes@fairmont.org

Officer Shannon Bass

Officer Bass has been a patrol officer with the Fairmont Police Department since 2001. He was born and raised in Worthington, MN. He attended college at Worthington Community College and then attended Alexandria Technical College where he received his degree in Law Enforcement.  Officer Bass started his law enforcement career with the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office where he was employed as a Correctional Officer for one year. He was then hired as a deputy for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office in 1997 and served there for four years. Officer Bass has several years of previous experience with the regional Emergency Response Unit (HEAT). He serves with the crime prevention program and the Martin County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program. Email: sbass@fairmont.org

Officer Lily Paine

Officer Paine grew up in Savage, MN and graduated from Burnsville High School. She attended Minnesota State University in Mankato and graduated with a BS Degree in Law Enforcement. Officer Paine began her law enforcement career in 2015 with the City of Madelia, MN before joining the Fairmont Police Department in 2016 as a patrol officer. Email: lpaine@fairmont.org

Officer Joshua Nelson

Officer Nelson is from Sherburn, MN. He attended Alexandria Technical College and graduated with an AAS Degree in Law Enforcement. He then participated in the summer internship program with the Fairmont Police Department and Martin County Sheriff’s Office. Officer Nelson then worked part-time for the Sherburn/Welcome Police, Trimont Police, Fairmont Police, Winnebago Police, and the Martin County Sheriff’s Officer before being hired as a full-time police officer with the Sherburn/Welcome Police Department in 2014. During this time he served as a member of the Emergency Response Unit (HEAT). In 2015 Officer Nelson was hired by the Northfield Police Department and served as a member of their SWAT team (MAAG) and became a use of force instructor. Officer Nelson joined the Fairmont Police Department in 2017. Email: jnelson@fairmont.org

Officer Colin Hagert

Officer Hagert grew up in Cobden, MN and graduated from Springfield High School. He attended Alexandria Technical College and graduated with an AAS Degree in Law Enforcement. Officer Hagert began his law enforcement career in 2016 with the Sleepy Eye Police Department before joining the Fairmont Police Department in 2017. Officer Hagert enjoys being outdoors and staying active. Email: chagert@fairmont.org

Officer Jason Christenson

Officer Christenson grew up in Granada, MN and graduated from Martin Luther High School in Northrop, MN in 2003. He graduated from Alexandria Community and Technical College in 2005 with an AAS Degree in Law Enforcement. Prior to starting for the Fairmont Police Department in 2017 Officer Christenson worked for the Winnebago Police Department and the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office where he worked for ten years. In Faribault County he was a member of the S.C.D.I.U. SWAT team for three years and is also a firearms instructor.  In 2021, Officer Christenson was assigned to serve as an Investigator.  Officer Christenson is also assigned to the duties of Department Armor and Pre-Employment Background Investigator.  Officer Christenson enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family. Email: jchristenson@fairmont.org

Officer Joshua Walker

Officer Walker grew up in rural Vernon Center, graduating from Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial in 2003. Officer Walker went on to join the Army National Guard where he served as a SGT with HHC 2-135th out of Mankato, MN. Officer Walker holds a Bachelor’s degree in Police Investigations and Law Enforcement. Prior to being hired with the Fairmont Police Department in June of 2018, Officer Walker was employed by the Montevideo Police Department. While serving in Montevideo, Officer Walker attended courses in Crisis Intervention, Basic Narcotics, and served as the departments Field Training Officer. Officer Walker has been a license peace officer since 2011. Email: jwalker@fairmont.org

Officer Chelsea Yeager

Officer Yeager grew up Ramsey, Minnesota. She attended North Hennepin Community College where she obtained her Associates Degree in Law Enforcement. She also attended Hennepin Technical College where she obtained her SKILLS certificate. Officer Yeager began her career in Law Enforcement in 2009 where she joined the City of Anoka Police Explorer Post. She dedicated seven years to the Explorer post while getting hired as a Reserve Officer and also a Security Officer in 2015. She worked as a Security Officer for the Anoka Police Department until 2018, providing assistance to staff at Anoka High School, Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center and patrol with responding to calls for service. Officer Yeager joined the Fairmont Police Department in October 2018.  Email: cyeager@fairmont.org 

Officer Dayton Asmus

Officer Asmus grew up in Fairmont and graduated from Fairmont High School. He attended Alexandria Technical College and graduated with an AAS Degree in Law Enforcement. Officer Asmus began his career with the Sherburn/Welcome PD in August of 2017 and joined the Fairmont Police Department in October of 2017 as a part time officer and in 2019 was hired as a full-time patrol officer. Officer Asmus enjoys working in his hometown and enjoys spending time outdoors.  Email: dasmus@fairmont.org

Officer Parker Stevens

Officer Stevens grew up in Truman, MN and graduated from Truman High School in 2018.  Officer Stevens attended Minnesota West Community and Technical College where he graduated with an A.A.S. Degree in Law Enforcement.  During college, Officer Stevens participated in the Fairmont/Martin County Sheriff’s Office summer internship.  In 2020, Officer Stevens was hired as a part-time Deputy for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office as well as a part-time officer for Truman PD.  In 2021, Officer Stevens was hired as a full-time Patrol Officer with Fairmont Police Department.  Officer Stevens enjoys outdoor activities and working in the area, he grew up.  Email: pstevens@fairmont.org

Officer Dustin Schwebke

Officer Schwebke grew up in Colorado and moved to Fairmont in 1995. He graduated from Fairmont High School in 2000. Dustin attended South Central Technical College in Mankato in the Paramedic program. After graduating from SCTC he became interested in a career in law enforcement. He then attended Riverland Community Technical College in Austin, MN and graduated with an AAS degree in law enforcement. He completed the skills course in Hibbing and was hired as the Animal Control Officer in Fairmont in August, 2007. Officer Schwebke was promoted to Patrol Officer in July, 2021.  Email: dschwebke@fairmont.org

Part-Time Officers

Officer Will Murray

Officer Will Murray holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and an Associates Degree in Law Enforcement from Inver Hills Community College. Officer Murray started his law enforcement career as a park ranger for Dakota County and a neighborhood assistance officer with St. Paul Police Department.

In 2001 Officer Murray started working for Mound Police Department where he served as a patrol officer, triad officer, use of force instructor and tactical team leader for the emergency response unit. In 2007 he moved to northwest Iowa where he served the Cherokee Police Department before moving to southwest Minnesota. Officer Murray worked part time for Fairmont Police Department for eight months prior to being hired by Jackson Police Department in 2008.   He served Jackson Police as a sergeant, firearms instructor, armorer and field training officer until 2010. Sergeant Murray was hired by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in 2010 where he served as sergeant, armorer, triad officer and field training officer. Officer Murray was hired by Fairmont Police Department in November of 2019 to serve as a part-time school resource officer for the Arise Academy in Fairmont, MN.    Email: wmurray@fairmont.org

Community Service Officer

Brad Buhmann

Brad Buhmann was hired as the Community Service Officer in May, 2021.  Buhmann performs a variety of duties involving education and enforcement of City Code such as animal control, ordinance enforcement, parking enforcement and assisting in a support services role for the police department officers and staff.  Email: bbuhmann@fairmont.org