6/16/2020 10:51:00 AM Who answers the 911 call? To the Editor
Steve Johnson Longville
The citizens of and visitors to Cass County are well served by the officers of the Cass County Sheriff's Office. In Minnesota, the sheriff is an elected official and is accountable to the voters every four years. In Cass County, for many years the County Board of Commissioners, also an elected body, has utilized a state statute to have a Sheriff's Civil Service Commission which is responsible for recruiting, screening and interviewing candidates who wish to be employed as a deputy Sheriff. The County Board appoints three members, from different geographical areas of the county; citizens from different backgrounds who have an interest in making sure that there is quality law enforcement in the county and that highly qualified individuals provide that service. The task of the Civil Service Commission is to interview candidates to make sure that they are trained, licensed and qualified to be a law enforcement officer, that they understand the challenges of working in a rural county with a large geographic area and a small population, an area that draws large numbers of visitors interested in outdoor recreation and seasonal living. The interview process involved difficult questioning and evaluation of the candidate's ability to process information and react accordingly in difficult situations as a licensed law enforcement officer. Background screening and psychological testing are also tools used to evaluate candidates. The Commission members then rank the candidates and provide a list to the Sheriff, from which he can make his appointment of deputies. A similar process is used to hire jail officers and dispatchers.
Law Enforcement is a difficult profession in these challenging times. Cass County residents can feel assured that a trained and professional licensed officer in the white squad and dressed in the brown uniform shirt will answer their call for assistance. Continuous on-going training and supervision by ranking officers at the direction of the Sheriff further prepares our deputies for their difficult task. Diversity of the workforce has been a goal of the Commission, the Sheriff and Cass County and competent and qualified women and members of the Leech Lake Tribe serve as deputies at this time. The sworn duty of all deputies is to serve you and they do it well. When a squad passes, give a friendly wave. When you see an officer, thank them for their service.