Officers garner promotionsA pair of promotions at the Superior Police Department take effect Saturday.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
A pair of promotions at the Superior Police Department take effect Saturday.
Sgt. Nicholas Alexander, a member of the department since 1998, will take on a new role as captain of investigations, formerly held by Chad La Lor, who resigned in March.
“I’m excited to be able to promote Nick Alexander to the position of Investigations Division Commander,” said Police Chief Charles LaGesse. “He is well respected by the officers of this department and the members of the greater criminal justice community.”
Alexander has served as a patrol officer, narcotics investigator and a member of the department’s emergency response team. He was promoted to the position of patrol sergeant in 2006. He has been a supervisor of the department’s Evidence Technician and Field Training Officer programs. Alexander received extensive training in the recovery of evidence from digital devices and most recently served as the sergeant and commander of the Lake Superior Forensic Technology and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
“He possesses a great deal of experience on the street and in investigations,” LaGesse said. “I am confident that his talents and training will help this department in our core missions of preventing crime and solving crimes.”
Alexander said he was excited to be stepping into the new role and looked forward to the challenges it will bring.
“I owe much of my success and accomplishments to the hard work of the men and women of the Superior Police Department that I have worked with and supervised over the years,” Alexander said. “I hope my success will continue in my efforts to serve them in my new role.”
A lifelong Twin Ports resident, Alexander comes from a law enforcement family. Both his uncle and father served on the Duluth Police Department. He has a degree in numerological and computational mathematics from the University of Minnesota Duluth and is the married father of two. Alexander has great pride in the department.
“My goal is to provide all the tools, support and leadership to my division, and the entire department, to help them successfully and efficiently do their jobs,” he said. “There are many initiatives that the police department is involved in, such as community-orientated policing, but the goal of all our programs is to provide effective law enforcement services to the community and to help make Superior a safe and pleasant place to work, live and raise a family.”
Detective Thomas Champaigne takes on the lead role for the technology task force after his promotion to sergeant Saturday.
“Tom Champaigne is extremely qualified to supervise the task force office and to serve as a sergeant in our agency,” LaGesse said. “He has a wealth of experience and has demonstrated his ability to work with and lead others throughout his career.”
Champaigne joined the police department in April 1991. He has served as patrol officer, narcotics investigator, and a member of the emergency response and dive teams. He has served as a detective since 2004. He has extensive training and experience in the recovery of digital evidence and has worked with the Lake Superior Forensic Technology and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for most of the last two years. Although it will be hard to leave the task force he helped create, Alexander said it will be in good hands.
“Detective Champaigne and I have worked closely on computer crime investigations and ICAC work now for over five years and have become very good friends,” he said. “I have valued Detective Champaigne’s, skills, abilities and advice over the years so I am extremely confident he will be successful in assuming supervision of the task force.” Along with a talent for mentoring officers, Champaigne is “exceptional at seeing these oftentimes complex, technological cases through from start to finish and delivering a product the District Attorney, U.S. Attorney that result in successful prosecutions,” Alexander said.
Champaigne said he is also looking forward to moving into his new role. Although he will miss working side-by-side with Alexander, he called LaGesse’s decision to promote the sergeant a good one.
“Nick has been an excellent leader on our police department and as the task force commander,” Champaigne said. “Nick has the respect of the people he works with and brings a lot to the table for our department.”
The task force assists various agencies in forensic examination of computers, cellular phones and other digital devices, a growing area of investigation.
“Technology is always changing and always becoming more integrated into everyday life,” Champaigne said. “I foresee our task force seeing more work each year we are in existence — job security — that is a good problem to have.” Although most cases to date have been reactive, the detective said he hopes the task force will conduct more proactive investigations in the future.
Other members of the task force include Douglas County Detective John Parenteau, St. Louis County Investigator Steve Borchers and Duluth Police Investigator Erik Hanson.
“It’s exciting to be able to promote two such capable and well-respected officers to formal leadership positions in the department,” LaGesse said. “I know that they will work well with our supervisory team, with the officers that they will supervise, and with the members of this community.”