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Surf instructor transitions into a life of law enforcement as Cannon Beach Police Department’s newest recruit

Surf instructor becomes Cannon Beach Police Department’s newest officer
By Brenna Visser

The Daily Astorian

Published on February 7, 2018 11:45AM

Last changed on February 9, 2018 12:36PM

Cody Dietel

Brenna Visser/Cannon Beach Gazette

Cody Dietel

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Before becoming Cannon Beach’s newest police officer, Cody Dietel could be found at the Cannon Beach Surf Shop teaching surf lessons.

Summer after summer, Dietel remembers coming to Cannon Beach with his family to surf. Each time he would get his rentals from the surf shop, until about five years ago when asked the shop’s owner, Mark Mekenas, about a job.

“I met him when we he was a kid, known him most of his life,” Mekenas said. “We’re going to miss him around the shop, but we encouraged him to go. We’re proud of him.”

What brought Dietel to Cannon Beach was his love for the water and the sport. But as his fondness for the community grew, so did his desire to serve it. His opportunity to do so came when the police officer position came open last year.

“It may not be the most desired profession right now. But it’s a job where you have to be willing to put others before yourself,” Dietel said. “That’s something everywhere needs and deserves.”

Dietel was sworn in at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He will be sent to a policy academy in March before starting his training period with the department. He is replacing Josh Gregory, who left the position last spring to become a sergeant with Seaside Police Department.

“He’s down to earth, he has a good head on his shoulders and understands the community,” said Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn.

Dietel grew up in Hawkinson, Washington. His initial interest in first responder work started in high school when a friend’s father encouraged him to apply for the firefighter cadet program. He took interest, and briefly studied fire science at Lower Columbia College and general studies at Washington State University. He currently lives in Seaside, and when he’s not working, can be found on his surfboard or in his garage doing some woodworking.

With this being his first job in policing, he said he expects there to be challenges. He expects to be facing difficult situations he has yet to encounter so far in his 30-year-old life.

“It’ll be different. But they are similar in that they are both community oriented,” Dietel said.

Overall, he said he’s excited for this new chapter in the relationship between himself and Cannon Beach.

“I’ve been coming to Cannon Beach for more than 25 years. Getting to work with the community like this means a great deal to me,” Dietel said.



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