When she was in school, officer J.J. Dvorak didn’t even know that she wanted to become a law enforcement professional.
Originally from Colorado, Dvorak graduated from UND with a bachelor of arts degree in Criminal Justice and Atmospheric Science, an initially, her focus was forensic meteorology, a field involved with reconstructing past weather conditions surrounding specific events.
Dvorak was nearly finished with her degree in atmospheric science when she had a change of heart.
“The politics involved in forensic meteorology kind of pushed me away from it,” Dvorak said. “My interest shifted to law enforcement somewhere in that three-and-a-half year overlap.”
And now she’s here in Devils Lake, the newest addition to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office.
Having started on Sept. 3, Dvorak is still less than two months on the job with the Ramsey County Sherrif’s office, but even in her limited experience, she’s already learning a lot.
One thing that she’s noticed since she began working as a sherrif’s deputy is just how many things you have to know, how to approach certain situations at certain points of the day.
“It’s just gonna take time for me,” Dvorak said. “Day shift isn’t quite the same as night shift, so I’m learning how to do different things at different times.”
But luckily for her, she has a wealth of experience at her disposal in her fellow officers, who according to her, have been nothing but helpful in her first few weeks on the job.
“They’ve been great,” Dvorak said. “They’re always willing to help me out and work with me, and that’s been good.”
Dvorak has ridden along with all her fellow deputies throughout the course of her training, and each time she does, she is keen to pick up on the things that they do, and also what not to do. For the last month, Dvorak has been out on her own.
Not only is Dvorak the newest Ramsey County Sherrif’s deputy, she’s also the only female deputy on staff.
That isn’t a problem for her, though.
“When I was studying atmospheric science in school, that was a male dominated field. Criminal justice is another male dominated field. So it’s something that I’ve been used to,” Dvorak said.
“Plus, there’s usually a lot less drama working with guys,” she added with a laugh.
Page 2 of 2 - Dvorak now makes her home in Devils Lake, over an hour away from her college friends in Grand Forks and even further away from her family in Colorado.
She’s spent much of her time since moving to the Lake Region unpacking and getting situated in her new job, new apartment and new town.
But she’s excited to be here, and she seems more than capable of the work she’s been assigned in her new position.
“I wouldn’t have hired her if she wasn’t,” Sheriff Steve Nelson said.