Photo by Sarah Elmquist
Jay Rasmussen

Rasmussen promoted to sergeant


by Sarah Squires

In the world of Winona police, the name Jay Rasmussen is synonymous with hard work, dedication. The young Winona Police Department Investigator took the lead on the nearly 25-year-old Ada Senenfelder murder case, helping to wrap up Winona’s only unsolved murder.

This week, Winona Police Chief Paul Bostrack announced that the 31-year-old Winona native has been promoted to sergeant, one of the top posts in the department.

“He has a work ethic that’s second to none,” said Bostrack of Rasmussen’s performance. “We’re very fortunate.”

Rasmussen, who will be working as one of six sergeants overseeing a patrol division, said his role will be to guide, motivate, train and direct his officers to work as a team.

The new sergeant boasts a degree in law enforcement from Alexandria Technical College, a degree in criminal justice from Winona State University, and he has just finished his master’s degree in public safety from Saint Cloud State University. He’s worked with the Winona Police Department for over seven years, and prior to that worked for the Rushford Police Department for over two years.

Some of Rasmussen’s most well-known work was done on the Ada Senenfelder murder case, a case that grew cold after her 1985 death. But investigators reopened the case in recent years, with Rasmussen taking the lead, and three convictions have followed since. Bostrack said that while many, many law enforcement staff worked tirelessly on the case, “Jay was key.”

Through his career thus far, Rasmussen has worked just about every kind of case a person can think of, he said, and he’s excited to take a leadership role with the department. As a Winona native, he said, he’s tied to this community, and his promotion really feels like he’s come full circle. “I have a stake in what happens here,” he said.


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