No one ever said becoming a police officer was an easy job, and John Frandsen knows first hand of the hardships that follow with the career.
Frandsen has 13 years of being a full-time police officer under his belt and an additional two years as a reserve. In 15 years, he has earned an abundance of experience and memories.
That experience rewarded Frandsen as he was recently promoted to sergeant.
Kevin Gehman, Fallon chief of police, had nothing but encouraging words when speaking about Frandsen and his promotion to sergeant.
“Frandsen will bring in an enormous amount of community knowledge and experience to fill the role of sergeant,” said Gehman. “He has always been an informal leader in the department and the transition from lieutenant to sergeant will be very easy for him.”
Since joining the Fallon Police Department in 2000, Frandsen has held several positions within the department. He started out in the patrol and worked there for two months and shortly afterward, he became a school resource officer for more than two years. Frandsen returned to the patrol for several years and then moved to a detective position for almost six years. He has since been in patrol since 2010.
Frandsen said much has happened to get him to point to where he is today. He never had the mindset to become a policeman when he was younger or even after he graduated high school.
“I joined the reserves just for the volunteer opportunity,” said Frandsen. “I didn’t see myself having a career as a police officer but after two years on the reserves I decided to turn it in to something more.”
Frandsen said it wasn’t an easy process joining the reserves. There were several “hiccups” along the way, and it took him more than a year before he was accepted to the reserves.
“The first time I applied, I got called to do the testing but was unable to because I was in Montana handling my dads’ affairs after he passed away,” said Frandsen. “So I applied again but unfortunately due to miscommunicationbetween my wife and me, I ended up being late for the test because I had the wrong location.
“Then finally I applied a third time and took the test and passed. I became a reserve police officer for the city of Fallon in 1998.”
Several positions opened while Frandsen was in the reserves, but he was not considered for any of the positions because he did not have the proper certification. One of the lieutenants at the time recommended Frandsen attend the POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) in Carson City to receive the qualifications needed to be considered for positions.
“So that’s what I did,” Frandsen said. “Unfortunately, the department wasn’t able to pay for me to go to the academy, so I got them to sponsor me and I paid for myself to go through the course.”
Frandsen quit his job and went to POST in August 1999. He said he graduated at the top of his class in academics and was now a certified police officer.
“It was a risky move quitting my job and spending my money to put myself through the academy in hopes that I would get hired once I graduated,” Frandsen said. “Luckily, it was a move that paid off,.”.
Once Frandsen graduated, he wasn’t blessed with the best of luck finding a job. He said he was passed on an open position that was taken by a fellow officer who was already in the department. With no job openings, he decided to look outside of the Fallon Police Department until the department created a part-time position for him. Shortly thereafter, a full-time position opened, and he accepted the move in November 2000.
The hours of training have benefited Frandsen over the years.
“I’ve been through several thousand hours of training,” he said. “I believe I’ve amassed over 2,300 hours.”
Frandsen said the training and testing have been extensive. He has trained and been tested in several different areas of the police department from academics to physical fitness and psychological evaluations and to common patrol calls to homicide investigations.
“The training and regulations are always evolving,” he said. “Laws are always evolving and new laws are coming in to play constantly, so it’s a continuing education process for everyone. We have to keep up with all of the new laws and changing policies.”
Frandsen said being a Fallon police officer has been a great learning experience. With the department being small, it has allowed him the opportunity to experience and become good at different positions.
“I have become a better and well-rounded officer because of that and I enjoy the work that I do,” he said. “I feel satisfied when I’m able to help or assist somebody and handle the situation properly because of my training.”
Frandsen said he enjoys his job and the positive feed back that comes along with it. There are times when parts of the job are hard, but at the end of the day, Frandsen said he knows he’s doing his job right.
“The fact of the matter is we as police officers perform a thankless job, and we don’t get to interact a lot of times with the positive side of our community,” Frandsen said.
Regardless of the spirits of others who don’t find fondness in his occupation, Frandsen still takes pride in his career path and doesn’t regret it one bit.
“I get a sense of accomplishment when I’m able to get positive feed back from someone when I have helped them,” he added.
As far as his future plans, Frandsen would like to serve 20 years with the department and perhaps retire to Montana.
“Depending on what is happening at that state and time in my professional and personal life, I will consider possibly retirement at 20 years … or maybe not,” he said.
Frandsen has been supported in his endeavors by his wife of 24 years, Kyra, and his children. They met and married in Great Falls, Mont. Frandsen said Kyra joined the military when they were engaged and shortly afterward, they started living the military life.
The Navy brought them to California for a short tour and then to Japan for a back-to-back tour. While in Japan, Frandsen and Kyra had two children, Shelby and Sarah. Kyra’s job brought them to Fallon in 1997 and in 2000 they had their third child, John Michael.