By Rachael Huether
Officer Brandon Mika recently joined the Gordon Police Department. While he may be new to the area, he is no stranger to law enforcement, or helping others.
Mika moved to Gordon about three months ago, after his family relocated here to work at the Pine Ridge IHS. Prior to that, he worked in Mission, S.D., as a police officer. Brandon had worked in the healthcare field as an ER tech, CNA, and EMT before deciding it was time for a change. “I’ve always liked helping people, I think the majority of police officers feel that way. I didn’t feel like I was doing enough working in healthcare, and I felt like I wanted to be more on the front lines, trying to do preventative measures, and I just wanted to be in on more of the action,” Mika stated.
Brandon grew up in northern California, and his family has lived all over the country. Going into healthcare was only natural for him, as he comes from a family dedicated to the field. “The majority of my family members come from healthcare: my mom, dad, sister, and grandparents,” he said with a laugh.
After working in Mission, Brandon felt he wanted to do more in a larger town. “I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working there, I worked with a lot of great people. It is a very small town, though, even smaller than Gordon.”
Brandon feels his training as an EMT has been helpful in the line of duty, as he has the medical training to assess a patient and relay information to paramedics upon their arrival. He said there are also some challenges, as he has to be able to recognize the boundaries and be able to switch that mode off and focus on his job as an officer.
In the transition of moving to Gordon, Brandon worked for Farmer’s Co-Op, where he said he was able to meet a lot of locals. Getting out and meeting people has been difficult, though, with the social distancing guidelines in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When asked what his favorite part of the area has been so far, he replied, “I would say the people.” He feels there is a great sense of pride in Sheridan County residents, and that people have been really friendly to him. “People wave and say ‘hi’ and talk to you here. It’s really great, kind of how I grew up in northern California on the ranch.” He is also excited about the amenities Gordon has to offer, including the movie theater and nearby lakes.
In his free time, Brandon likes to hunt, fish, mow his lawn, work on his dirt bikes, and take care of his pets; two dogs and three snapping turtles. If you see him out and about, feel free to stop him and say ‘welcome’!