Each of the new police officers sworn in by the Metro Transit Police Department this week described receiving their badges as one of the proudest moments of their lives.
For Kongmeng Yang, the ceremony affirmed his decision to go back to school, earn a degree, and begin applying for his “dream job” as a police officer. The St. Paul native had previously worked in security and was pinned by his mother.
Robert Jeffery, who also comes from a security background, was joined by former bosses, his neighbor, and partner, and said he was “overjoyed” to begin this next chapter in his career.
And Kevin Schoephoerster said it was a day he’d been looking forward to nearly his entire life. Schoephoerster’s father, Steve Schoephoerster, began as a Metro Transit operator 38 years ago and has been a Metro Transit police officer for the past 18 years.
“I’ve been dreaming of this moment from the first day he (Steve) came home in a uniform,” Kevin Schoephoerster said. “This really is one of the best days I’ve ever had.”
Kevin Schoephoerster is the department’s first second-generation full-time police officer and, along with his brother, East Metro Mechanic Technician Taylor Schoephoerster, a third-generation Metro Transit employee. Steve Schoephoerster’s father and brothers were also bus operators.
For Steve Schoephoerster, welcoming his son into the department was also a proud and exciting moment.
Nearing the end of his long career, he had this advice for his son and his peers: “Stay true to yourself and take advantage of all the opportunities you can. You can always learn and grow – after all these years, I still learn and grow every day.”
The Metro Transit Police Department is hiring full-time police officers and part-time Community Service Officers who support police while pursuing degrees in law enforcement. Learn more at metrotransit.org.