Rosemount's newest police officer, Joseph Hawkinson, may be new to his position with the force, but he won't be a new face in the community.

Hawkinson has worked as a civilian community service officer in Rosemount since 2015, a civilian position he held while he completed his Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement at Metro State University in St. Paul.

The Rosemount Police Department began the search for a new officer following the retirement of officer Tim Murphy in May.

"We have a very detailed process to find a replacement," said Chief Mitchell Scott. "We were able to find one of the best candidates out there - fortunately for us, he was already a member of our family."

Hawkinson is a graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul. He was recruited to play baseball at Hamline University, but eventually chose to transfer to Metro State to "pursue his passion for law enforcement," Scott said.

As a community service officer in Rosemount, Hawkinson had the chance to work with veteran officers in the department and become familiar with the community. Community service officers are non-sworn in members of the department who assist with tasks and allow sworn officers to be on the street patrolling, Scott said.

Scott said he loves the CSO program because it allows departments to mentor young people who are interested in law enforcement careers.

"It's probably one of the longest job interviews they're going to have, because we get to watch them for several years to make sure they're a good fit for our family," Scott said.

Hawkinson is also a member of the Army National Guard and works as a military police officer.

Hawkinson began work with the department in July and just recently completed his field training program. He was officially sworn in by Mayor Bill Droste Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Rosemount City Hall in front of a crowd of family, friends and fellow members of the police department.

After the ceremony, Droste thanked the police officers and department staff in attendance for their service to the community.

"With all the scrutiny on police officers, we appreciate all the hard work you do keeping our community safe," Droste said.