Tricounty News

Sheriff Norlin announces retirement in 2015

Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin has announced that he will be retiring at the end of his current term in early January of 2015, after 32 years in law enforcement. Sheriff Norlin will not seek re‑election in 2014.

Jeff Norlin has served as the 27th Meeker County Sheriff, appointed in 2009 and elected to office in 2010. Norlin also served Meeker County as patrol deputy and K-9 Officer before serving as Chief Deputy for 17 years. Before coming to Meeker County, Norlin worked for the U.S. Marshals Service, the Sibley County Sheriff’s Office, and as a Police Officer in the City of Belle Plaine.

Among Norlin’s accomplishments during his tenure as sheriff: He brought the Operation Life Saver program to the county to help locate Autistic children and those with dementia problems that go missing; he started the Meeker County Crime Alert program which has more than five hundred subscribers also involving many of the county’s lake associations; he successfully installed five outdoor warning sirens to rural lake communities in the county by obtaining some grant funding for some of the projects; and he’s especially proud that he has the most youth based programs in the history of the office, to include training and certification for snowmobiles, ATVs, youth firearms and has continued including the long running D.A.R.E. and child finger printing programs. Norlin has obtained more than 2 million dollars in grant funding to build the ARMER radio network for the county that has a service life span of 25 years. To date, this modern radio system provides communication technology to all public safety entities in the county, Meeker County Public Transit, Meeker Memorial Hospital, one school district and one local school bus transportation company. Norlin managed two major projects to relocate and to remodel/upgrade the 9-1-1 communications center during his tenure with the county; he obtained grant funding to upgrade the local public Ham radio system to benefit the local Ham radio clubs and to eventually partner them with the 9-1-1 center for communication needs during certain emergencies. Norlin partnered with Hennepin County Medical Center and
Dr. Jeffrey Ho, to start the first volunteer sheriff’s paramedic program in the state which benefits all of Meeker County citizens adding seven additional paramedics to serve citizens, aid first responders and deputies on a part-time basis throughout the year. Also, with this partnership the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office was the first Sheriff’s Office in the nation to ever win an award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for Excellence in Law Enforcement Research. Last year, Sheriff Norlin started the Sheriff’s Office on facebook, at no cost to taxpayers to get information out to the public, and that has nearly 800 Likes with some posts reaching nearly 6,000 people.

Norlin says that making the decision to retire was a very difficult decision to make. He has always been proud to serve the citizens of Meeker County. He said that he has options that will take him in a different direction in the future. Norlin said that he is especially proud of his 93 hardworking dedicated employees and volunteers that he says are heroes. He said he will miss them very much. He said his staff is put in very tough situations that the public, in many cases, aren’t aware of. He wants to thank his many supporters that have helped him through the years, and he also said that he will miss many of the other dedicated employees of Meeker County that fostered so many friendships.