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Aitkin Excellence!

Calm under Pressure

A Tale of
Calm under Pressure
Contributed by

Lisa Roggenkamp Rakotz

Employee Spotlight

John Novotny


Improved Internal Relationships, Improved Services, Improved External Relationships, Justice

Calm under Pressure

On a routine day, the backdrop of a traffic stop unveiled a scenario that tested the bounds of professionalism. A person, under the influence and fueled by intoxication, had created a tumultuous situation. Swearing and hurling insults at Deputy John Novotny, their demeanor was far from ideal. However, it was within this tense encounter that the core value of "Professionalism" stood unwaveringly as a guiding light.

Amidst the barrage of expletives and insults, the deputy's response resonated with a profound sense of professionalism. Instead of letting the torrent of negativity affect their composure, the deputy remained steadfast. They deftly navigated the challenging situation, handling the person's behavior with a level of restraint that showcased the very essence of professionalism in law enforcement. Despite the verbal onslaught, the deputy's demeanor remained respectful, and their words carried the weight of reason and understanding.

In the face of defiance, the deputy upheld the tenets of the organization, revealing a core value that extends beyond the ordinary. Rather than succumbing to the provocations, they went the extra mile to explain, time and again, the reasons for the necessary course of action. This was more than just a matter of enforcement; it was an exemplification of the principle of "People-focused." By seeking to calm the person down and ensure they comprehended the situation, the deputy demonstrated an investment in the well-being of the individual – an embodiment of Aitkin County's commitment to putting people first.

The story reaches its culmination as the person was arrested, charged, and subsequently convicted and placed on probation. But the narrative doesn't end there. The remarkable twist lies in the gratitude that followed. In an unexpected turn of events, the person, perhaps in the sober light of retrospection, extended gratitude to the deputy for their actions. It's a testament to the enduring impact of professionalism, even in the most challenging moments.

This story serves as a beacon, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, professionalism stands resolute. It underscores the pivotal role that each individual plays in upholding the values that define Aitkin County. The deputy's actions ripple beyond the immediate situation, influencing the very fabric of the organization. It's a narrative that illuminates the profound impact that adhering to core values can have on both individuals and the collective. In a world where interactions can often be strained, the story of this traffic stop reminds us that professionalism can bridge divides, transform perceptions, and even lead to unexpected moments of unity and gratitude.

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