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New sergeant immigrated to U.S.

Dimitri Ikonitski may have been born in the former Soviet Union "but I've spent most of my adult life in the U.S."

Ikonitski and his family moved to Morris after he took the job as the sergeant with the Morris Police Department. He first worked in Morris in 2001 and 2002. Since then he has worked in Washington State and most recently in the New Orleans area before he rejoined the Morris department. .

He left the former Soviet Union at 21. He had served two years in the Soviet Army. The former Soviet Union was dismantled and the country was in transition when his family left. His father is a chemical analyst and worked for a government program. Since the government was changing, his father's job would also be changing or be eliminated, Ikonitski said. His father decided to come to the U.S. where he believed there would be more opportunities to do research.

The family had relatives in New York state who sponsored the Ikonitskis in their move to the U.S. in the early 1990s.

After nearly 30 years in the U.S., "The only person I speak Russian to is my father and some relatives," Ikonitski said. "My children don't speak Russian."

Yet while Russia and the Soviet Union are years behind him, "I can operate comfortably in both cultures," Ikonitski said.

Ikonitski had started to think about police work when he was a teenager. The thought didn't leave him when he moved to the U.S. so he began to search for law enforcement programs to attend. Ikonitski chose a program in the Twin Cities area and moved there.

He eventually got a job in Morris, then Washington state, New Orleans and Jefferson Parish before he returned to Morris.

For a related story on Ikonitski's work experience, click this link: ttps://