Kyle Korte hadn't given a lot of thought to becoming a police officer.
In fact, Korte, the newest officer on the Fort Dodge Police Department, said he didn't know what career path he wanted to explore until he took a career aptitude test while studying at Iowa State University.
"The results of that test said that law enforcement might be a good field for me to go into," Korte said. "So I decided that sounded interesting to me."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Kyle Korte, the latest patrol officer to join the Fort Dodge Police Department, gets a little practice on the computer system as officer Matt Lundburg stands ready to help him out.
Korte's experiences, including an internship with the ISU Police Department, confirmed that he wanted to become a patrol officer.
So when an opening came up with the Fort Dodge Police Department, Korte applied for and received the position.
Though his first day was Aug. 28, 2012, Korte only recently began going on patrol after completing training at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in Johnston and field training with the FDPD.
"In the beginning my head was spinning a bit," he said. "It was a steep learning curve, but it's been a lot of fun. I get to go to different places and see a lot of variety."
Korte said one of the biggest challenges of working in Fort Dodge was the fact he'd only been to town twice before he was hired.
"I didn't know anything about the town other than the research I'd done," he said. "I had to learn all about the streets and how the town is laid out."
In addition to learning street names, Korte also had to memorize the names and locations of various landmarks throughout town.
"When you're new to town, you usually learn where everything is by street number," he said. "But here all everybody seems to talk about are landmarks."
Although he only recently started working in Fort Dodge, Korte said he already wants to make a positive impact on it.
"I'd like to get involved in the community as a whole," he said. "If you want to improve a community, you can't just do it from one front."
One thing Korte would like to be involved with is local sports.
"I have a passion for football, so maybe eventually I could coach football for one of the schools," he said. "Creative solutions can make everything better."
Among the pieces of advice Korte has been given, one of the most important is keeping an open mind.
"When you're going to different types of calls, you really have to treat everything the same," he said. "You have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst."
He added that's especially important when officers are trying to figure out what's going on.
"When you're dealing with people, keep an open mind," he said. "Nothing is as it seems. You can hear a story somewhere and not know everything that happened."
Chief Tim Carmody said Korte represents the future of the department.
"Kyle is a great example of our young staff and the passion that they have for providing top quality service," he said.
Carmody added that Korte's desire to become more involved in the community shows his passion for being a police officer.
"We're excited by that and for the opportunities it will provide for us as our department continues to grow and develop," he said. "Our future is bright."
Korte said he's looking forward to his time with the police department.
"Some people might look at it as just a job," he said. "But this is fun to me."