Sheriff’s services used for prom invitation



Cassie Richardson, a 17-year-old PAS senior, was driving home after school on Second Ave. NW Jan. 23 when she was pulled over by Pipestone County Sheriff Keith Vreeman.

As she sat in her car, nervous and embarrassed as her classmates drove by gawking at her pulled over on the side of the road, Vreeman approached the vehicle and told Richardson he’d received a complaint that she’d run a stop sign that morning. It was possible, Richardson thought. She had been running behind and was hurrying to school.

When Vreeman handed her the citation, however, instead of listing the crime and fine amount, the ticket was an invitation to prom from Noah Maschino, a 16-year-old junior at Pipestone Area Schools and friend of Richardson’s. In the space where the fine amount was listed, the fake citation said there was no fine if she accepted the invitation which she did.

Richardson said she was so nervous about being pulled over that she was caught completely off guard by the invitation. As Vreeman delivered the invitation, Maschino sat parked in his car down the block and watched the events unfold.

Vreeman said he’s aware that some people might question the use of his time on the taxpayers’ dime to pull someone over who hasn’t committed a crime, but that it’s not unprecedented to pull people over for positive reasons such as rewarding drivers for wearing their seatbelts, and that he sees the act as a way to foster positive communication with local youth.

“To me it’s important to keep a relationship with the kids,” he said.

The students said Vreeman’s willingness to help local youth shows them he “likes to have fun with his job” and that they don’t have to be afraid of law enforcement officers because they’re not always the bearers of bad news.

“I think it shows that he’s willing to work with the youth in the community,” Maschino said.

Vreeman said he doesn’t plan to deliver prom requests for other students, but said he is open to other opportunities to develop positive relationships with local youth in the future.

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