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Seiling is chief deputy

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The Becker County Sheriff's Office has a new chief deputy. And the county is going to be looking for a new highway engineer.

Those and a number of other personnel changes were approved Tuesday by the Becker County Board.

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• John Seiling, a longtime investigator for the sheriff's office, was named chief deputy. He fills the vacancy left by Kelly Shannon, who was named sheriff for the remaining two years of Tim Gordon's term.

• The county board also authorized Shannon to fill the investigator's position and backfill any vacancy caused by an internal promotion. And it authorized the filling of a second deputy position caused by a retirement.

• Two full-time dispatchers will be hired because of pending retirements in that department, and the county will advertise for two part-time dispatchers as well.

Dispatchers are already overly-busy at times and have to be assisted by sheriff's officers. The situation is expected to be made worse by the loss of the local State Patrol dispatch office, Shannon told commissioners.

• Becker County Highway Engineer Brad Wentz, who has led the county Highway Department for 12 years, has accepted a transportation engineering position with North Dakota State University in Fargo. His resignation is effective Dec. 27.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the various county boards over the past 12 years," he said in his resignation letter.

"I will miss the great working relationships that have been established with my fellow employees, cities, townships, counties, MnDOT, and other agencies. In particular, I will miss the excellent staff of the Becker County Highway Department. The many accomplishments of the past 12 years are a direct result of their hard work and dedication."

• The county board approved creating and filling a new assistant Becker County Attorney position, due in part to the increase in child abuse cases in the county.

• Bryan Christensen has been appointed director of emergency management for Becker County.

He is the sales and marketing instructor at M State in Detroit Lakes, and works as needed as an LPN in the emergency room at Essentia Health St. Mary's. He is also a licensed medical technician.

Christensen was director of safety and security for United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck and continues to provide consulting for the college. While in Bismarck he also taught criminal justice at Rasmussen College.

Christensen has a master's degree in business administration, a bachelor's degree in management, a degree in computer networking and a diploma in Law Enforcement Career Transition.

• Becker County Assessor Steve Carlson was also reappointed on Tuesday.

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