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Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander points to accomplishments and future goals in reelection bid

Prior to opening the new jail, $600,000 a year was budgeted for boarding inmates out of the county. But in 2021, with the new jail open, that expense went away and Becker County actually made $530,000 from the boarding of federal prisoners, along with boarding for other counties — which adds up to a $1.1 million budget turnaround.

Todd Glander September 2022.jpeg
Todd Glander
Contributed/Todd Glander
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DETROIT LAKES — Todd Glander has been sheriff of Becker County for eight years now, but he came to law enforcement in a roundabout way.

Glander was born and raised in Detroit Lakes, where he graduated from high school in 1984, but his family was grounded in forestry, and forestry was his first focus when he went to college in Duluth.

But a summer job at the Becker County Jail led him into law enforcement.

“Clarence Paurus was sheriff in 1988, and he hired me to work at the jail,” Glander said. After a couple years working in corrections at the jail, “I decided to go into law enforcement,” he added.

Glander earned a law enforcement degree at Northland College in Fergus Falls in 1992 and did his skills training in Alexandria — all while working in auxiliary law enforcement as much as possible under a part-time license.

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Glander worked in the Detroit Lakes Police Department full-time from 1993 to 2006.

That’s when he joined the Becker County Sheriff’s Office and worked as a deputy and firearms instructor. He was promoted to sergeant in 2013, and was elected to his first four-year term as sheriff the next year. There are now 24 full-time licensed patrol positions in his office.

He made the switch to the sheriff’s office because “I wanted to come back to where I started,” Glander said. “I came back here to end my career in Becker County.”

Not that he’s talking about retirement. At age 56, Glander seems to be as excited as ever about law enforcement. “Several colleagues, professional partners, family, and friends, have encouraged me to seek re-election,” and his family supports his decision to run, he said.

And Glander is proud of what he’s accomplished so far:

  • During the past eight years, he said, the sheriff’s office “has advanced the standards of professionalism through clear expectations, sound leadership and improvements in technology.” That includes improved training, a shared records management system — which increased the department’s communication with neighboring agencies and counties — and emergency 911 improvements, such as text to 911. “Ultimately this results in a team of professionals providing more patrol time and quicker response to residents’ concerns and calls for service while protecting the lives, rights and properties of the citizens of Becker County,” Glander said.
  • Reimplemented the K-9 program (the department now has two K-9 units) funded by “overwhelming financial support from the residents, businesses and community groups of Becker County,” Glander said.
  • Worked to reduce regional gang, drug and violent crimes by supporting drug task forces. Glander’s department currently has an investigator and deputy assigned to the West Central Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and the FBI-Headwater's Safe Trails Task Force. This duo works cohesively with neighboring local, county and state agencies to reduce drug and violent criminal activity.
  • Implemented the use of drones to assist with search and rescue, along with criminal apprehension.
  • To virtually eliminate the high cost of out-of-county boarding, and to improve the overall system of corrections in Becker County, Glander worked with the community and County Board to construct an efficient, modular-style correctional facility.
  • Prior to opening the new jail, $600,000 a year was budgeted for boarding inmates out of the county. But in 2021, with the new jail open, that expense went away and Becker County actually made $530,000 from the boarding of federal prisoners, along with boarding for other counties — which adds up to a $1.1 million budget turnaround.
  • Since 2018, Glander has served as District One director for the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, which provides training, information and legislative representation for the 87 sheriff’s offices throughout the state.

As sheriff, Glander said he will continue to:

  • Virtually eliminate the financial burden of out-of-county boarding; and to improve the overall system of corrections in Becker County. So far this year, over $200,000 in revenue has been received, he said.
  • Work hard to stay within his annual budget, including searching out grant opportunities. His department has been awarded many grant-funded resources and programs.
  • The sheriff’s office is in the process of implementing Project Lifesaver, a search and rescue program designed for “at risk” individuals prone to wandering due to cognitive conditions like autism and dementia.  Project Lifesaver is being funded through “overwhelming donations from several residents of Becker County,” Glander said.
  • Improve the Triad program, a cooperative between seniors, law enforcement and community groups. “We are always seeking more individuals to build this program,” Glander said.
  • Help protect older people. “We are continuously working to identify and reduce elder abuse in Becker County by joining with neighboring agencies,” Glander said. The team, now titled Tri-County/White Earth Nation, includes Becker, Clearwater, and Mahnomen counties, along with the White Earth Nation.

In the future, Glander plans to:

  • Keep up with a growing population. Because Becker County is known for its recreation and tourism, and is a wonderful place to raise a family, the population continues to grow.  “As this happens, so does the need for the number of deputies to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors,” he said.
  • Explore the feasibility of co-locating the sheriff’s office and the jail. “I would like to research how our sheriff’s office would benefit the public being attached to the jail,” Glander said.  Centralizing sheriff’s office and jail operations would make for easier, quicker, and more efficient services, he said.
  • Focus on scams. “Scams are becoming more abundant and continue to focus on the elderly,” he said. “I have and will remain focused on educating our seniors and all residents on how not to fall victim to scams.” 
  • Law enforcement mental health care is a concern of leadership across the nation. In Becker County, an employee assistance program is available for everyone employed in the sheriff’s office. Heart health is another big concern for law enforcement, but until recently has not been talked about much, Glander said. “I have started discussions on how to enhance and offer these services for our staff,” he added.
  • Over the last few years, sheriff’s office staffing “has been hit due to various leaves of absence, and a pandemic. I am proud of our team as they didn’t allow any call for service go un-responded,” Glander said. “I am privileged to have a team dedicated to public safety for all with integrity and professionalism.”   
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