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County reviews use of part-time deputies

By Randy Thoms May 11, 2023 | 7:05 AM

Koochiching County Sheriff, Perryn Hedlund (l) with Deputy Sheriff Jon Froemke. (file photo)

Koochiching County’s Sheriff would like more full-time deputies instead of part-time ones.

The county uses part-time deputies to fill in for vacation, sick leave, extra duties like transportation, and court security.

Sheriff Perryn Hedlund says the demand for officers elsewhere is leading to recruitment challenges for the department.

“Just about everyone across the state is trying to hire people,” says Hedlund. “We’re competing with other agencies that are hiring full-time deputies and police officers, and we’re attempting to hire part-time. We’re not having a lot of success.”

Hedlund is proposing the county consider making the entire force with full-time officers.

The Sheriff’s Department patrols the county 24 hours a day with eight full-time deputies and four part-time.

“We think that we ideally would replace our four part-time deputies with four full-time deputies. I know that’s a huge ask, but that’s what we feel the need is to get through the summer,” says Hedlund.

Hedlund notes Koochiching is the only Minnesota county with part-time deputies.

The department only had two part-time deputies last summer, which led to increased overtime costs for the department.

“We’re okay going into (this) summer, but there’s no guarantee beyond probably a three or four-month period at this point. We have lost recently part-time staff, deputy staff that have gone on to full-time positions, and also because full-time jobs are abundant.”



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