Twins from Barnum are proud to be troopers with the Minnesota State Patrol
Jamie and Jessica Bird are identical twins from Barnum. “People always thought we were the same person, and we’re pretty close in personalities,” they shared.
That included playing hockey into college.
But now, they’ve traded jerseys in for the brown and tan uniforms of the Minnesota State Patrol.
After getting their four-year degrees from St. Cloud, they went to the skills program in Alexandria. Then it was on to applications.
“The State Patrol was the first agency to let us prove ourselves,” Jessica told us.
They went through the patrol’s 14-week academy, and then got the fundamentals down pat during the three months of field training time.
“having that field training officer walk you through every step, that was super awesome,” Jessica said.
Finally, it was solo patrol. Their squads are their offices. And they’ve been loving it.
“I think growing up we just wanted to give back to our community, but also for us, the biggest thing was helping people when they’re at their worst. And what better job than to do this,” Jamie said.
Jessica added, “I think it really came to us in the 11th grade, that we knew we wanted to be in law enforcement.”
While on patrol, they look for the patrol’s four pillars: 1) DWI 2) Distracted driving 3) Phones 4) Seatbelts.
“Obviously you’re responding to other calls, such as debris or driving complaints. If a crash comes out, you’re doing that or assisting other agencies,” Jessica said.
She patrols the hometown turf, in Carlton County. Jamie is in Duluth.
Because they’re twins, people they meet sometimes think they’re the same person.
“It just happened recently. We were working a HEAT shift, and I pulled over this truck and I walked up there and all the guys started laughing at me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. They said, didn’t you just pull us over down the road? I asked where, and they said Barnum. And I told them, no it was my twin sister,” Jamie said.
Even though they were the smallest in their academy class, they can handle their own. And they want others to know that too, including potential recruits.
“I would say anyone can do this. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, what race, what size, nothing,” Jamie said.
It’s a lot of alone time on the road. But help is never far away. “You always have your backup, and not just your troopers, but your local PDs and your deputies,” Jamie added.
That’s why they are here, to protect and serve, while on patrol.
“It’s just making a difference in the world,” Jamie said.
Both troopers recently got married, so they have different last names now. So that might help people be able to tell them apart.
For more information about the State Patrol: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/msp/Pages/default.aspx