I grew up in Remer MN, in northern Cass County, where I continue to live with my wife, Jennifer and two of our three children. Jen and I have been married for 23 years. I am blessed to have her as my life-long companion, encourager and best friend. Our oldest daughter and her husband are expecting our first grandchild in June of 2022. Our middle daughter will be graduating from Northland High School this spring with her A.A. Degree from Central Lakes College. Our youngest son will be entering the seventh grade in the fall of 2022.
My parents both died young, but not before they modeled for my brother, sister and I what a life of service to our community looked like. My mom was the Community Education Director for our local school and my father was a charter member of the Remer Ambulance Service for 15 years and a member of the Remer City Council for 35 years as a councilor and then as mayor. Their commitment in serving our community inspired me to be involved with volunteer groups and community events whenever I can. I was a volunteer EMT for the Remer Ambulance Service for 15 years, a volunteer firefighter for the Remer Fire Department for 11 years, event chaperon and a volunteer coach for t-ball, pitch and football. I enjoy involvement that allows me to “give back” and “pay forward” the help and encouragement others gave me.
Living in a small town in Cass County allows me the opportunity to spend time in the woods and on the lakes. My father taught me how to hunt and fish and to value the gifts of the wild. We ate what we hunted and caught, and we had a respect for those experiences that are still so common in small towns throughout Minnesota. I continue to enjoy these activities, along with woodworking, camping and an unwavering support for the Minnesota Vikings!
After high school, I spent a few years working for a local business in town until Cass County Sheriff Jim Dowson hired me to be a part-time dispatcher in 1997. I quickly became committed to my law enforcement career. I soon realized that I wanted more direct contact with people and the opportunity to work in a problem-solving capacity. So I attended Hibbing Technical College, got my A.A. Degree in Criminal Justice and entered a new phase in my career as a deputy sheriff. I went from Dispatcher to Deputy to Patrol Sergeant to Lieutenant and now, today, I serve as Chief Deputy. My job is to assist Sheriff Tom Burch in overseeing the day-to-day operations of all divisions of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, which include the Patrol Division, Investigation Division, Boat and Water Division, Civil Division, Dispatch Center, Records Division and Detention Center with seventy-seven total employees.
During my career, I was a member of the Emergency Response Team (ERU) for 13 years. I was a crisis negotiator with the team, as well as an entry team member. I served as Team Sergeant and Co-Team Leader, and then as Team Commander after my promotion to Patrol Lieutenant in 2019. I am a charter member and co-founder of the Cass County Honor Guard. I took lessons to learn how to play the bagpipes to perform at ceremonies and funerals.
During the 24 years I have served the people of Cass County, I have seen first-hand how each of our Sheriffs used their position to build the capacity of our team to better serve our citizens. Under Sheriff Jim Dowson, Cass County dramatically improved radio communications and put computers in squad cars. Under Sheriff Randy Fisher, we positioned our staff to have communication interoperability with other law enforcement agencies across the state. This allows us to communicate with diverse law enforcement and emergency services in the event of crises. Under Sheriff Tom Burch we installed community policing strategies, along with automatic vehicle locaters (AVL) allowing the closest resource to respond to the call for services. Sheriff Burch added body cameras to protect deputies and capture evidence. I feel compelled to honor the Sheriffs that have served before me and those who serve with me by doing my part to maintain this spirit of professionalism and commitment to best practices. These are values that allow us to minimize danger to our staff and to strengthen protections for our citizens, as we adapt to the challenges that emerge in the future.
It has been a great honor to serve in my different capacities within the Cass County Sheriff's Office. I have appreciated the opportunity to learn how all the different areas of the Sheriff's Office work together as a whole organization to best serve the citizens of our county. I continue to enjoy serving this county and I am thankful for the opportunities I have to do so. As your Sheriff, I want to continue to build strong relationships within our communities and be fiscally responsible and progressive in our approach to the challenges of law enforcement. Law enforcement is a noble profession that requires committed people to perform the duties required to maintain a peaceful society that is safe.
This brief bio, of course, is an unfinished story. What the future holds remains to be seen. But this I know for certain. I love what I do every day, and I know the team I lead will rise to the challenges of the future.