Sheriff Cole Releases Quarterly Report
From Sheriff Robin Cole:
“As Pine County Sheriff, I write a quarterly column to update residents on current events within the Sheriff’s Office.
We have now completed the second quarter of 2013.
The second quarter started with the passing of long time political figure and Pine County Commissioner Doug Carlson. Doug was found deceased in a restroom inside the Courthouse after regular business hours. He had attended a meeting in the late afternoon and apparently collapsed without anyone knowing. Our investigation determined that Doug died of natural causes.
Chief Blackwell graduated from the School of Police Staff and Command course presented by Northwestern University. This course is nationally recognized and was established in the 1930’s in an effort to professionalize police leadership. In the 90 year history of this course only 11,000 individuals have completed the 10 week course. Our Chief Deputy commuted daily at his own expense to an off campus session of the course conducted at the Hudson Police Department.
The month of May brought unseasonably dry weather that contributed to a very active spring fire season. Several large fires required multiple departments and DNR aircraft to extinguish. On the same afternoon as the largest fire Pine County Veterans Service Office Dean Dronen was killed in a terrible motorcycle crash. The accident remains under investigation, awaiting a final reconstruction report from the State Patrol. When Sheriff’s Office receives this report the case file will be forwarded to the Pine County Attorney for prosecutorial review. Dean was a great man and will be dearly missed.
For the past six months the Sheriff’s Office and the County Board has been engaged in an on going debate over the number of Deputies required to patrol our county. After several meetings and presenting a 28-page report, the County Board agreed to set the number of sworn personnel at 32 of the 33 total requested. This represents the ability to have 26 Deputies in the patrol division, responding to calls for service. When compared to surrounding counties and communities, statistically, even with 33 sworn employees Pine County is still understaffed by 8 sworn employees.
The second quarter was plagued by several tragic accidents including a man being crushed to death under a tractor and another losing his leg in a grain auger. A young veteran was hit and fatally injured by a hit and run driver in the City of Hinckley in mid June. Two weeks later the hit and run driver and his vehicle were taken into custody and charges have been filed.
Through the 2nd quarter (50%) of 2013, overall the Sheriff’s Office has expended 49% of our budget; we have spent the following percentage of each budget: Sheriff 49%, Corrections 49%, and Dispatch 49%.
Listen for weekly updates, during the Pine County Sheriff’s Report, Thursday mornings at 0730 on WCMP radio.
Thank you for the support,
Sheriff Robin Cole