The Hastings Police Department has promoted its first female officer to a captain position.
Capt. Raelee Van Winkle received her new badge and stars during a short ceremony Monday at the police department. Her husband, HPD officer Dwayne Johnson, gave Van Winkle her new badge. Her parents, Jim and Myki Van Winkle of Wood Lake, pinned the stars to her uniform lapels.
Van Winkle has long been interested in law enforcement. She studied at Wayne State College in Wayne and majored in psychology with minors in criminal justice and sociology. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she became an officer at the Hastings Police Department in September 2008. She attended the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center and graduated in April 2009. Raelee graduated from Valentine High School.
In 2015, she was promoted to sergeant and supervised a shift on nights.