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IN THE RACE FOR SHERIFF: Glander has deep roots in local law enforcement

Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander is seeking re-election to his position, which would be for another four years. (Paula Quam / Tribune)

A lifelong resident of Becker County and 1984 graduate of Detroit Lakes High School, Todd Glander can point to a long career in law enforcement as he seeks his second term as Becker County sheriff.

"I started my law enforcement career in Becker County in 1988, when I was hired by Sheriff Clarence Paurus as a full-time corrections officer," he said. He earned his law enforcement degree while working full time at the jail and while working as a part-time licensed officer for the Becker County Sheriff's Auxiliary, "volunteering my time as a part-time deputy assisting full-time officers in the city and county," he said.

In 1993 he joined the Detroit Lakes Police Department as a patrol officer. During his time with the city, "I was a firearms instructor, field training officer, school resource officer and advisor for the Explorer Scouts programs," he said.

In 2006, "I wanted to go back to where I started my career," he said, and became a deputy with the Becker County Sheriff's Office. There, he served as a firearms instructor and a field training officer, and was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2013. Glander was elected sheriff in 2014.

He and his wife, Tasha, have been married 30 years and have an adult son, Tyler.

"My parents and brothers continue to reside in Becker County with their families," he said. Glander is an avid outdoorsman and loves hunting, fishing and camping.

He said there are several issues he is focusing on.

The first is to oversee the completion of the new jail on Highway 59 North, and to make sure there is a smooth transition, as inmates move over from the maximum and medium security jails. "Before I became sheriff, the Department of Corrections told us we needed a new jail," he said.

"Completion of the building is only part of it," he added. "Now we will train our corrections officers and bring back inmates who have been boarded out in other counties ... we have been budgeting $600,000 just for out-of-county boarding, not including transport costs."

Because of the more efficient, modular layout of the new jail, the county is hoping to be able to operate it with existing corrections staff, he said. "Our goal is the safety and security of inmates and officers," he said.

The second is the problem of opioids and other drugs coming into Becker County.

To combat drug trafficking, two deputies are assigned to the West Central Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, and to the FBI Headwaters Safe trails task force, which provides a nexus to the White Earth Reservation to help combat drugs, violent crimes and human trafficking, he said.

The third issue is elder abuse, which is more common than people realize, he said. "Whether living in a home, and apartment, assisted living or nursing home, everyone should be able to feel safe," he said. Glander took the lead on preventing elder abuse, inviting the Minnesota Elder Justice Center a year ago to train local officers and other professionals to identify, investigate and find solutions for victims of elder abuse and related crimes.

A Becker County-White Earth multidisciplinary team was formed after the training with law enforcement, prosecutors, human services workers, elder services providers and others.

Glander pointed to a number of other accomplishments in his four years as sheriff: "I've advanced the standards of professionalism within the sheriff's office through clear expectations, sound leadership and improvements in technology," he said. The result has been more patrol time with better and quicker response times, he added.

Computers have been added to patrol vehicles, along with a new record management system and live mapping for dispatchers and officers. "This helps keep deputies on the road with less time in the office," he said. Part-time transport officers now shuttle inmates to court and jail from other counties, freeing up deputies for patrol time.

Glander also brought back the K-9 unit, missing since 2008, thanks to donated funds from businesses and residents. "Canine Cooper and Deputy Cody Bouchie are an excellent team," he said.

And each deputy now carries two doses of Narcan to save lives in an opioid overdose situation.

Glander also pointed to a matching grant that allowed the county to invest in a badly-needed $92,000 upgrade to its courthouse surveillance equipment.

Grants have also been received for bulletproof vests, opioid death and trafficking investigations, ATV, snowmobile and boating enforcement, and DWI, speed, distracted driving and seatbelt enforcement campaigns.

Glander said he would like to continue the good working relationship with the White Earth Police Department, and to assure all Becker County residents that the sheriff's office will continue to respond to calls when other agencies are tied up elsewhere, be it White Earth or city officers.

"It's been a privilege serving as sheriff the last four years, and it would be an honor to continue serving as your sheriff the next four years," he said.