Accomplishments at the Sheriff's Office
leading as sheriff
Nearly four years ago the citizens of Olmsted County affirmed the importance of continuous service, community, and vision in the delivery of public safety services.
As Sheriff, Kevin has led the Sheriff's Office to partner with the community and various organizations to advance trust, improve transparency, and establish the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office as a regional leader. Kevin's leadership as Sheriff has resulted in all of the Sheriff’s Office:
- Increasing public safety information sharing and connections through social media
- Enhancing community engagement and awareness by participation in Trends Events, Coffee with a Deputy, National Night Out, and many others
- Renewing fiscal responsibility by operating under budget each year
- Implementing body cameras on the street and in the detention center
- Supporting drug court and the need for mental health services in the community
- Partnering with Latino Community Conversations to build knowledge and trust
- Continuing to promote public safety though efforts like DWI and drug enforcement
leading before sheriff
Before Kevin was elected Sheriff, his leadership was seen in many ways at the Sheriff's Office:
- Continuously serving with the Sheriff's Office for over 27 years, Kevin has held positions of deputy sheriff, sergeant, and captain. Kevin has worked in, led, or supported each division of the Sheriff’s Office.
- Served as a Deputy Sheriff in the Patrol Division for 12 years, where Kevin held numerous assignments as well as responded to and effectively managed several critical incidents.
- Selected to serve as Olmsted County’s first School Liaison/Youth Services Deputy. Kevin supported youth in Byron, Dover-Eyota, and Stewartville Public Schools, as well as at Rochester Catholic Schools and Rochester Central Lutheran Schools. He also taught Core DARE, Jr. High DARE and Parent DARE Programs.
- Partnered with Olmsted County Children First to examine forty community assets in the following categories: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identities. Kevin felt this work was important as research indicates children who have access to these resources are more likely to do well in school, volunteer in the community, care about others, and less likely to use tobacco and drugs.
- Advised School Crisis Teams in the development of critical incident planning. Kevin helped develop plans for incidents such as weather, fire, lockdown, and sudden death of students and faculty/staff to ensure students and staff remained safe.
- Co-developed children safety classes at Stewartville Elementary schools. Working with the school social worker, Kevin co-developed plans for students in kindergarten to sixth grade and presented topics from the DARE curriculum combined with ‘good touch/bad touch,’ bullying and ‘stranger danger.'
- Participated in several high-risk law enforcement situations, including felony arrests, suicidal person calls, dangerous domestic incidents, and narcotics arrests while Kevin was a member of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU).
- Served in Patrol, Training, and Civil/Warrants and Court Security Divisions as Sergeant. This experience as a front-line supervisor gives Kevin a distinct advantage and insight into the mandated duties the Sheriff’s Office must perform.
- Restructured the Safe and Sober Program from the Project 55 program as Sergeant, a task previously led by a captain. This program targeted roads where crashes and speed complaints were common and focused enforcement efforts on risk factors, such as seatbelt, child safety seats, and drunk and impaired driving, to prevent injuries and fatal crashes. Seatbelt checkpoint surveys were also conducted for drivers and passengers at various locations across the county and data showed a steady increase in seatbelt use.
- Directed revamping of the Firearms, Use of Force policy, and Field Training programs while assigned to the Training Division.
- Founded the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard. As Sergeant, Kevin assembled a group of deputies to honor Southeast Minnesota's fallen law enforcement, detention, and corrections officers and deputies.
Initial Responder and Significant Contributor
High Profile Cases
In 1988, Kevin was the first officer on scene after a family was murdered in their home. While on scene, Kevin noted signs of concern and called for assistance (backup). He entered the residence to find four members of the same family deceased. Kevin secured the home while additional deputies were notified. Working together with investigators, a suspect was quickly developed. The suspect, another member of the family, was located and arrested the next day. Kevin also worked to gather critical evidence which would later be presented at trial.
That same year, Kevin was one of two deputies first on scene following a domestic violence situation which ended in the murder of a teenage girl. Kevin’s immediate actions helped to quickly locate a suspect that was taken into custody in matter of hours without incident. In both cases, Kevin’s actions as a patrol deputy helped to secure convictions against the individuals responsible for these horrific acts. These individuals were brought to justice and are still in prison to this day.
Kevin also responded to a Christmas Eve murder in 1998 where a husband reported his wife to have stopped breathing overnight. Kevin’s initial investigation raised several questions and a short time later investigators determined the husband had strangled his wife during an argument.
Injured in the Line of Duty
Kevin responded to a standoff at a rural farm, where a suspect took the life of a farmhand in 1994. The suspect fired shots at deputies then committed suicide. During this incident, Kevin suffered a severe shoulder injury that required surgery and took several months to heal.
Officer Down Critical Incidents
In 1995, as a member of the Emergency Response Unit (SWAT), Kevin was a deputy assigned to an arrest team during an incident where a suspect fought off the arrest attempt and, in the process, shot a Rochester Police Officer. Kevin’s actions that day earned him a Medal of Commendation from the Rochester Police Department.
Then in 2003 Kevin was pressed into duty as Incident Commander when he was first on scene after a suspect shot a deputy. Kevin, now a sergeant, secured the scene and oversaw efforts to search for and take into custody additional suspects.
North Star Foods Fire
As Captain and Director of Olmsted County Emergency Management, Kevin has led regional response efforts. In 2009, at the North Star Foods fire in Saint Charles (Winona County), Kevin ensured support was provided to the Winona County Sheriff’s Office, City of Saint Charles, Saint Charles Police and Fire Departments, and Winona County Emergency Management. This included locating a command post for emergency services and evacuation personnel to gather as well as stage for later assignments.
A year later in 2010, a small plane crashed in Rochester Township. This crash claimed the lives of two passengers and the pilot. Kevin provide assistance to investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). He also served on the Public Information Officer team, where he ensured timely and accurate reporting and coverage of this tragic accident.
Serve Weather; 100 Tornadoes
The tornado and straight line wind event in Salem and Cascade Townships and Northwest Rochester in June 2010 was part of an historic day in Minnesota as more than 100 tornadoes were recorded across the State. Kevin was there and ensured a coordinated response by the City of Rochester, State of Minnesota, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Storm damage occurred across the county and later the National Weather Service reported this weather event was result of strong winds and an EF-1 tornado.
Zumbro River Flood
A few months later, in September 2010, after another severe storm event with heavy rains caused the Zumbro River to flash flood and destroy roads, fields, parks and homes, Kevin led a coordinated response effort. Kevin worked with the State of Minnesota, FEMA, several volunteer organizations, and local authorities from the cities of Oronoco and Pine Island, New Haven and Oronoco townships, as well as Olmsted County officials to ensure the community received much needed assistance.
A disaster declaration was sent to the Governor as public assistance was received from the federal government. Efforts continued to provide additional assistance to individuals that did not receive federal aid. A federal disaster zone was declared as a result of this flood.