A Parent and a Protector

MPD Officer Casee Veren reflects upon motherhood

For Casee Veren, her role as a mother to two young sons is akin to her duties as patrol officer at the Marshalltown Police Department.

“You never know what to expect day to day as a parent; it’s a lot like being an officer,” she said.

Casee, a native of Creston, has been on the force since 2006. She holds a degree in criminal justice, and spent a lifetime absorbing the nuances of law enforcement.

“My dad is a Union County sheriff, and my dad’s dad is retired from the Iowa State Patrol,” she noted.

The first meeting with her husband, Ben, who serves as a Marshall County Sheriff’s deputy, was like a scene out of a television crime drama.

“I met Ben in December 2006 during a search warrant. I was new to the PD, and he was in town on the same drug search warrant,” she recalled. “I didn’t have a lot of friends then in Marshalltown, and a mutual friend set us up.”

The couple wed on Sept. 20, 2008 and had their first child, Cooper, in 2009, followed by Conner in 2011.

“They’re both so alike, yet different in a lot of ways. Cooper is very energetic, full of love, and very sensitive; he’s the kid that hugs you and tells you he loves you. Conner is very easy-going, and people love to be around him. He’s extremely stubborn, a hard worker, and wants to be a farmer someday.”

For most of her career, Casee has worked the overnight shift — 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. — patrolling the streets of Marshalltown, while Ben works days. She serves on the department’s negotiation team, while her husband is on the SWAT team.

“We try to make it work and have the same days off in a row before shift changes,” she said. “Sometimes we get called out at the same time [for work], but you can wake the kids up from a dead sleep in the middle of night and they are understanding. They are such ‘people kids’; they get along with everyone who watches them.”

Working nights and still keeping up with family activities means learning to sustain on limited rest.

“She makes time, even if it means sacrificing sleep,” Ben said. “She keeps things going as the rock of the family.”

Planning special trips and activities helps the Verens maximize family bonding time.

“My parents, who live two hours away, are semi-retired and we go to Florida with them 3-4 times a year to go boating and fishing,” Casee said. “The Verens live nearby us and have a pond. We all like to kayak, paddle boat, swim and go four-wheeling. The kids like to drive with their grandpa on the tractor.”

Casee said it’s important to her that her children have a strong sense of family.

“My great-grandma is 104 years old, so the boys have five generations on my side, and four on Ben’s,” she noted.

In her free time, Casee keeps up with personal fitness.

“I lift weights, bike, fish and kayak. I love the sun; I’m a sun goddess. I like spending my time at the pool,” she said. “I also like decorating, and shopping at Hobby Lobby.”

Casee said the most rewarding aspects of motherhood are the unconditional love she receives, the experience of watching her children grow, and being able to spend time with people who bring her so much joy.

“Just to have someone say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to you in general, it’s such an honor for all mothers … Everything we’ve done up to now has been good. We’ve been lucky things are just going our way. We’ve adapted well, and we wouldn’t change anything for the world,” she said.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at (641) 753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com