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Officer comes from family of Marines

Kevin Moore is the newest River Falls Police officer. A former police reserve, he's worked part-time at ShopKo and plans to return this summer to take classes at UW-River Falls and eventually earn a sociology degree. He's also a returning veteran of the Iraq War. Phil Pfuehler photo

Service to country has affected the River Falls Police Department.

Its newest officer, 25-year-old Kevin Moore from Osseo, was a temporary fill-in last year for Denton Anderson, now serving overseas in Kuwait with the U.S. Navy.

Moore, with the Marine Corps Reserves, was sent to Iraq in 2008. He was stationed near Fallujah with the infantry as a machine gunner. He did outpost guard duty, foot patrol and mobile patrol in an armored vehicle as a turret gunner.

"I was deployed 10 days after I got married," Moore said. "For my honeymoon I got to go to Iraq by myself."

The Moores and Marines go together. Kevin's father joined the Marines and was sent to Vietnam as a scout sniper. He went on to become a career officer before retiring.

Kevin's two older brothers have also served in the Marine Corps and saw action in Iraq earlier in the war.

Moore came to River Falls to attend college. There, he met the woman who became his wife.

Kevin and Kristin Moore, who live near Baldwin, have been married 2 1/2 years.

While Kevin hopes to return part time to UW-River Falls and complete his degree, he's already earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Chippewa Valley Technical College. He attended classes at both CVTC River Falls and Eau Claire.

Moore recently became a permanent member of the RFPD after the departure of Erik Dunn, who was hired as a St. Croix County Sheriff deputy.

Moore said law enforcement fits his character.

"I'm an active person," he said. "I like to hunt, fish, exercise, stay in shape, and this job requires that you be physically and mentally able to handle a variety of challenging demands that come up."

Moore admits he simply enjoys getting out and assisting people.

"There's a pleasure I take in that service role, knowing that others depend on my doing this job correctly," he said.

While there's high drama on TV cop shows, Moore says police work in a small town like River Falls has its own set of rewards. One job satisfaction is driving a squad car and acknowledging the many citizens who smile and wave to him.

"You won't see much of that on TV," he said. "There's a great bond in this community with the police, and it's pretty easy to notice that on the streets. It's a welcoming town."

Still, River Falls policing isn't always so laid back. But even in highly charged situations, such as domestic abuse, Moore strives for a "professional calmness."

"You have to find that certain way, the right method, to keep control," he said. "It's a little different each time. I'm a naturally relaxed type of person, which makes it easier to stay calm, I suppose. Then there's my Marine background and training as a police officer."

A calm demeanor, Moore adds, keeps one's awareness wide open as opposed to a narrowing "tunnel vision."

Moore said that joining the River Falls Police Reserves and doing ride-alongs with the regular officers convinced him that he could and wanted to become a police officer.

"I got a feel for what I might be getting into. I liked what I saw, and it helped me big time," Moore. "There's a lot of multi-tasking required of an officer -- driving, watching what's going on, communicating with dispatch, mentally preparing for calls. The Reserves gave me valuable experience."

In his spare time Moore watches sports, especially baseball and football (he's a big Packers fan), lifts weights, runs, loves to hunt and fish, and enjoys boating and tubing.

Editor's Note: Police Chief Roger Leque said there are typically 15-20 Reserves who serve voluntarily as "significant assets" to the police department. They are often used to provide extra traffic control and security at special events, ranging from River Falls Days to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp.

Reserves, who have no arrest authority, earn $9-$9.50 an hour. Leque said there's ongoing recruiting for Reserves, but hiring is done as needed once or twice a year. If interested, contact Police Sgt. Janis Bock at 425-0909 or at