HARTINGTON — For the last 30 years, Kenny Meier has been doing what he always wanted to do.
Meier was recently honored for 30 years of service with the Nebraska State Patrol.
Bryan Tuma, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, presented Meier a plaque which stated their appreciation for his long and faithful service to the State Patrol and the state of Nebraska.
Meier had a dream for his life even before he graduated from Niobrara High School in 1972.
“It had been my life-long dream to be a state patrolman since I was in high school,” Meier said.
Meier continued his education at Mount Marty College graduating with a bachelor of art major in business and a minor in psychology in 1976.
He worked the first summer after graduation in construction.
Meier was sworn in as an officer with the Nebraska State Patrol on May 1, 1977 after completing three months training at the State Patrol Camp in Lincoln.
Meier then completed a six-month period of probation with the State Patrol in Norfolk.
In November of 1977 he moved to his assigned duty station in South Sioux City.
He married Phyllis Liska on Sept. 9, 1978, and on June 10, 1981 they moved to Hartington.
“We moved to Hartington to be closer to both of our parents — mine were in Niobrara and Phyllis’ is from Verdigre,” said Meier.
On June 10, 2008 the couple will have lived in the Hartington community for 27 years.
Meier patrols on a permanent day shift now. His original schedule included a rotation of days and nights.
Meier’s primary area of responsibility is from South Sioux City west to the Boyd County line and lies north of Highway 20.
Meier’s employment with the State Patrol has included working as a field training officer.
“I helped break in 13 officers — 11 are still with the State Patrol,” said Meier.
The biggest change Meier has seen in the State Patrol has been in technology.
‘Technology has improved the DNA and also communication,” said Meier. “I used to do my daily reports with a pencil and pad.”
Meier said he enjoys working with people and helping the public out.
Through the years Meier, along with his family members have taken several telephone calls at their home.
“People either wanted advice or they wanted to vent about something,” said Meier. “I don’t mind the calls.”
Meier said he does not have any plans for retirement in the near future.
“I feel lucky to have lived my life-long dream,” Meier said. “I am doing what I wanted to do. Like any job, it has its ups and downs. But it has been a great career for me.”
Meier and his wife Phyllis have three children.
They also raised Latrise, who is their niece, while her mother was in the military.
Latrise is now serving in the Army.
Daughter, Jennifer has graduated from college and Christopher and Mikayla are still college students.
Christopher may someday follow in his father’s footsteps. He will graduate in December with a degree in criminal justice.
Down the road he would like to be a state patrolman.