DIXON – The Dixon Sister Cities Association plans to welcome a police officer from Germany next month.
The association has ties to four cities across the globe – Herzberg, Germany; Dikson, Russia, on the Arctic Sea in northern Siberia; Castlebar, Ireland; and Thika, Kenya – and a group of 10 Dixonites visited Herzberg in September for a week, staying with local families and taking part in a special send-off for longtime mayor Michael Oeknigk, who retired last month after 28 years.
Dixon and Herzberg usually trade delegations every 2 years, but police officer Kathrin Sure will be spending 3 months in the Petunia Capital as part of a special exchange, Association President David Nelson said.
“This is a cultural exchange and in addition to introducing her to our region and city, we hope that she will be available to meet with residents, departments, and organizations who are interested in international connections,” Nelson said.
She’s expected to arrive March 13.
The hope is a Herzberg delegation will return to Dixon next year, and the association would like to send a group to Thika, a suburb of Nairobi, in 2020.
The most difficult relationship to maintain is with Dikson because of the Russian language barrier.
“We would welcome contact with local residents with fluency in Russian to help us regain a vital relationship with that Siberian seaport,” he said.
The group also installed new signs under the flags at Heritage Crossing last year describing the different sister cities, which were dedicated in honor of former board member Harry Ulferts, who died in 2012.
New signs were also posted at city entrance points coming from state Route 38 and U.S. Route 52, and three other signs were updated.
Call 815-440-4571 or go to dixonsistercities.org for more information on the Dixon Sister Cities Association.