NORMAN — Norman Police Sgt. Jennifer Newell’s last day as a police officer is coming quickly, but her work for Oklahoma isn’t done yet.
After serving 21 years as an officer, Newell is taking her experience in community relations and crime prevention and applying it to her new role. As of Dec. 2, she will be the new program manager for the Oklahoma School Security Institute at the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security.
A retirement reception for Newell is being hosted from 2 to 3 p.m. today at the police department’s multipurpose room. Her last day, before vacation, will be Saturday.
The program manager position is new and was created by the state legislature during the last legislative session, Newell said.
“I believe my major job is to create relationships between law enforcement and school districts and to make sure they understand how important that relationship is,” she said.
It’s something Newell is familiar with through her work with the Norman Police Department.
“Norman Public Schools and Norman Police Department have had a very long, very solid relationship, and I want to see that replicated throughout the state,” she said.
While she is excited and looking forward to the new challenge, there is a little uneasiness going into the new job.
“It’s somewhat like what I’ve been doing here, but on a much larger scale. But for the past 21 years, I’ve known where I’ve worked, what my day looked like and what I was supposed to do. So to close that door and open this brand new door is exciting and terrifying all at the same time,” Newell said.
When asked what she will miss the most working at the police department, she replied, “Teddy,” referring to MPO Teddy Wilson, who shares an office and works community relations with Newell.