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 Response Page - Stanek  Interview -      

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Richard Stanek Interview of


Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek describes how he has realigned his agency to fit a shrinking budget while also reducing crime. The budget shortfalls are here to stay, he says, and public officials should acknowledge that and seek ways to do more with less. He suggests consolidating county and municipal services, where possible and where there is overlap. The sheriff should target violent and habitual offenders and leave lesser crimes to local police, he said. Stanek advocates that the sheriff remain an elective, not appointive, office.

For the complete interview summary see:

Response Summary: Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed by Sheriff Richard Stanek. Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

1. Wasteful overlap exists. (8.5 average response) Wasteful overlap of public safety exists between municipal police departments and county sheriffs in Minnesota.

2. Consolidate in sheriff's office. (7.4 average response) Many municipal public safety functions should be consolidated in the sheriff’s office.

3. Target violent crime. (6.6 average response) The sheriff should target violent and habitual offenders and leave lesser crimes to local police.

4. Elect sheriff. (7.8 average response) The sheriff should remain an elected—not appointive—office.

5. Don't consolidate. (4.4 average response) Leave municipal police departments as they are, separate from the county sheriff.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree


Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Wasteful overlap exists.







2. Consolidate in sheriff's office.







3. Target violent crime.







4. Elect sheriff.







5. Don't consolidate.







Individual Responses:

John P. Mills (5) (5) (5) (7.5) (7.5)

Al Kokesch (10) (10) (7.5) (5) (0)

Dave Broden (7.5) (10) (2.5) (10) (0)

1. Wasteful overlap exists. Clearly there is duplication of effort, so finding the best way to provide these services would bring benefits. The key is to do this without loss of local interface and contact.

2. Consolidate in sheriff's office. Consolidating functions that can be done without direct citizen impact is beneficial and recommended.

3. Target violent crime. Coordination of efforts to (address) both lesser crimes and higher level offenders is a must. Finding the first-timers and working to prevent recurrence will reduce in (the) long term the violent and habitual criminals.

4. Elect sheriff. Election maintains citizen connection which can be key to public support in law enforcement.

5. Don't consolidate. An increased level of interfacing and coordination will be beneficial to both sides.

Bruce A. Lundeen (7.5) (5) (7.5) (7.5) (2.5)

1. Wasteful overlap exists. The problem will be taking away the authorities that municipal police departments have been accustomed to managing.

3. Target violent crime. Greater jurisdiction of the County Sheriff's Office makes this proposal attractive.

5. Don't consolidate. A more empowered Sheriff's department would assist in oversight of a Police Department that has been noted for abuse of authority, misconduct, and brutality. It was a Hennepin County Sheriff's Captain that brought attention to document shredding by closing down the office and bringing about an investigation.

Robert Jacobs (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Phil Hodapp (10) (10) (2.5) (10) (5)

1. Wasteful overlap exists. Dispatch, training, investigations, support staffing, equipment and facilities are all examples of redundancy.

2. Consolidate in sheriff's office. Dispatch, major investigations could be put into the sheriff's office. If the city wants additional law enforcement services and passes their own ordinances, they should continue to have patrol functions and investigations.

3. Target violent crime. It depends on which area of the state in which we live. Our county is large (3000 sq. miles) but only has two police departments in addition to the sheriff's office.

4. Elect sheriff. The sheriff needs to be independent and autonomous.

5. Don't consolidate. Only if the cities have the political will and capacity to tax their citizens for the increased services provided by city police.

W.D. (Bill) Hamm (5) (0) (7.5) (10) (10)

1. Wasteful overlap exists. Local control of these public servants is much more important than their perceived concepts of efficiency. A strong example in this piece is the lie this man told about what has been behind the reduction in crime; he totally ignored the fact that increased private pistol permits are one of the largest factors.

2. Consolidate in sheriff's office. Local Police are under local control; this Sheriff clearly isn't.

3. Target violent crime. If we are talking about violent crime, yes. The big problem in Minnesota is the racist attacks against Black and Native Americans over marijuana. This (speaker) and his buddies are arresting 9 times as many of these non-violent users of one of this planet’s oldest medicinal herbs as whites to keep their buddies employed. This makes us one of the most racist states in the nation, and when you look at the drug war issues it gets even worse than that. These (people) control the dealers and harvest victims like a crop.

4. Elect sheriff. It is our only way to control these elitist (people).

5. Don't consolidate. The more separation we have the better for ‘we the people’. Consolidation only increases the police state mentality held by some of these public servants.

Don Anderson (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (5)

1. Wasteful overlap exists. This is probably more common in out-state areas than in the metropolitan area. Many metro area cities are big enough to warrant their own departments.

2. Consolidate in sheriff's office. Again this is more in out-state areas than in the metro area.

3. Target violent crime. The level of expertise required in dealing with violent and habitual offenders does require a higher level of expertise than more city police departments can afford. Eliminating duplication of specialists would be appropriate.

5. Don't consolidate. In larger municipalities this would not be as feasible as it would be in smaller departments.

Scott Halstead (10) (7.5) (0) (10) (0)

2. Consolidate in sheriff's office. All public safety functions should (be) consolidated. That applies to Ramsey County also. The County attorney should provide all public safety related legal service.

3. Target violent crime. Consolidate all police service including parks (police).

5. Don't consolidate. We have too many layers of government in the metro area. We have the population density to provide rapid effective police service. We need to reduce the number of municipalities and school districts. There shouldn't be any split cities within a school district.

Paul Gilje (10) (10) (10) (0) (0)

Anonymous (7.5) (7.5) (5) (10) (2.5)

Chuck Slocum (10) (7) (8) (5) (5)

1. Wasteful overlap exists. The key is experimenting and finding smarter ways to do the job; applaud Sheriff Stanek on his interest and progress.

2. Consolidate in sheriff's office. Likely true but should be carefully thought through as part of a larger plan to maximize public safety.

4. Elect sheriff. Some would argue that the less "politics" in police work, the better the public is served. Elections=politics.

5. Don't consolidate. In some instances, this may make it more difficult to do more with less, a permanent budget concern of all levels of government, as the Sheriff said.

6. Comment: Thanks to the Sheriff and the Civic Caucus for this report. With 22% of the state’s population and 42% of the serious crime, Hennepin county and its abundant resources can lead the way in finding effective inter-governmental cooperation to collectively address the critical public safety issues. A potential model for other areas of the state. Heartily endorse the notion of police working with young kids in their neighborhoods as part of the strategies necessary to reduce crime.

Alan Miller (7) (2) (5) (9) (9)

Chuck Lutz (10) (9) (9) (10) (2)

John Nowicki (10) (10) (5) (10) (10)

Congrats. You finally have a hands-on person and not a consultant.

Carolyn Ring (8) (8) (9) (6) (2)

Al Quie (10) (10) (10) (10) (0)

Paul and Ruth Hauge (8) (7) (7) (7) (5)

Wayne Jennings (9) (5) (5) (5) (7)

Although the general principle of consolidation makes sense, I don't know enough about the specifics to comment on a number of these items.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (8) (7) (8) (6) (5)


The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay,  Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon,
Joe Mansky,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and  Wayne Popham 

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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