Off the Clock: New Hope Council Member John Elder
New Hope council member John Elder has lived his entire life in the same zip code— 55427. He went to Robbinsdale area schools. He’s married and has three grown children.
Besides sitting on the New Hope City Council, Elder is also the spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department. On the weekends, he’s a deputy with the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office. He’s been on the job for about a year and a half.
Elder’s career in law enforcement
Law enforcement is in his blood. He worked for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Lakeville police department, New Hope Police Department, and Minneapolis Police Department. He says those jobs prepared him for his current position.
“We see a lot of public service calls and narcotics calls. We see a lot of public assist calls,” explained Elder.
But the job can be dangerous.
In the blink of an eye, Elder can be sent to the scene of a fire. In Isanti County, he’s driving on rural roads which is much different than responding to a call in Minneapolis. Responding to a call in Isanti County takes much longer than it does in the metro.
“People are just so oblivious sometimes,” Elder recanted. “We don’t do anybody any good if we don’t get there. And we certainly don’t want to harm anyone on our way to it.”
Although the job is stressful, Elder says he wouldn’t change a thing.
“It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s my way of being able to give back.”
Elder’s community service
Elder is also a State Fair Police Officer. He’ll work all 13 days of the great Minnesota Get-Together this year.
Elder has served on the New Hope City Council since May 2008. He’s also commissioner for the Basset Creek Watershed Management Commission and sits on the Seven Dreams Board of Directors.