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What Does the Sheriff Do (and Why Should I Care)

As Sheriff of Ramsey County, I have the opportunity to talk with a lot of people.  In fact, it is part of our mission to continually engage with the people we serve.

One question I am frequently asked is, “what does the Sheriff do anyway?”  Good question!  I want to share with you what our office is responsible for but more importantly, I’d like to talk about our core mission of service and connection with the community and the values that inspire us every day.  After all, you can talk about your job description and values but what you actually do to make a positive difference in your community is what really matters.

What does the Sheriff do?

  • Oversees 450 employees

Our greatest asset and our strongest connection to the communities we serve are our employees.  At the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, we hire for character first.  Everything we do is founded on the core values of respect, responsibility, honor and truth. It is my role as sheriff to make sure that every member of the Sheriff’s Office is living out these traits every day.  You will hear more from me in future emails about what it means to hire for character and how we operate every day within these core values.

  • Manages a $57 million-dollar budget

I believe in responsible management of the public funds with which I am entrusted.  In my time as sheriff, I came in under budget even while dealing with staffing shortages and high overtime costs at the jail.

  • Operates the Ramsey County jail

In the last year, we corrected historical structural problems with jail staffing, hiring 37 more people.  This relieved the existing staff giving them more time to spend with their families and alleviated overtime costs.  The Corrections Officers who work in the jail operate with calm professionalism, entrusted with the care and safety of those in their charge.

  • Provides policing services to 7 cities in Ramsey County

If you live in Arden Hills, Falcon Heights, Little Canada, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights or White Bear Township, the Sheriff’s Office is your police department.  Whether it is working proactively within and for these communities or responding in times of crisis, our deputies are committed to operating with integrity.

  • Collaborates with law enforcement partners in the county and across the region
  • Protects our Courts and waterways
  • Administers warrants and civil process

Accomplishments as Sheriff

I believe that we as an agency must be in a state of constantly improving to better meet the needs of those we serve.  This means we are in relationship with the community and we listen.  As we do this, we hear about things that can be better. 

Here are some of our accomplishments since I became your Sheriff:

  • Discontinued the practice of taking ICE detainees in the Ramsey County jail.
  • Eliminated jail booking fees believing that the county does not need to make money off the backs of our most vulnerable.
  • Chairs the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, working with criminal justice partners to make improvements in Mental Health in the Criminal Justice system. 
  • Continued to invest in higher levels of community engagement and recruitment.  In my time as Sheriff, I have been able to achieve historic levels of diversity in hiring and promotions.  Each new class of Correctional Officers and Deputies has been over 50% diverse for women and people of color.
  • Created the Community Circle for Racial and Gender Equity as an Employer of Choice.  In our continuing efforts to increase racial and gender equity in public safety, this initiative will be an open forum to bring community leaders together with Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Communication Center leaders and recruiters to increase pathways to employment opportunities.

I am seeking the DFL endorsement. I am proud to say that I have already been endorsed by five labor groups including AFSCME and the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation.

And I am humbled by the help and support of my esteemed campaign co-chairs, State Senator Foung Hawj, County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt, and Maplewood Mayor Nora Slawik.

Click here to see a complete list of endorsements or to sign up as a supporter.

I ask for your support and your vote on May 6 at 12:00 pm the CD4/County Convention at: 
The University of Minnesota - St. Paul Student Center
North Star Ballroom
2017 Buford Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

If you have any questions or comments for me, please contact me on my website or message me on Facebook.

In service,
Jack