Filling the patrol sergeant position in Freeborn County

KIMT News 3 brought you continuing coverage as Sheriff Kurt Freitag took to the courts for a salary raise after being denied by the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners. That battle is still unfolding - but there are other disagreements unfolding.

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 11:27 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2019 8:48 AM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. - Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag was flabbergasted when the Board of Commissioners voted to table consideration of filling a vacant sergeant position in September. Earlier this week, the Board voted to fill the position. 

"The board in September decided to table that request to gather more information," Freeborn County Administrator Thomas Jensen said. "The information was gathered during a work session and throughout those several weeks between there. They decided it was prudent to fill that sergeant position."

Freitag says the board cited arrest data for Freeborn County and he says the data was all wrong. He showed data indicating there were 605 total arrests in 2018 while the data the Administrator uses reports there were only 230 arrests that year. The Sheriff wants better communication. 

"Communication is always king, in the future, if there is an issue, if they are wondering if we need to re-fill a vacancy, let's sit down and talk about it right away," Freitag said. 

County Administrator Thomas Jensen wants to move forward. 

"We have things we need to focus on for 2020 and that's what we're gonna do," Jensen said. 

As for the sheriff, he's happy to have the sergeant's position filled. 

"It's good for our people - it's added safety for our deputies on the road, it's always good to have at least one more person available, to have a supervisor available," Freitag said. 

The Freeborn County Administrator says the job opening will be posted immediately per union contracts and then the sergeants will be at full force. 

KIMT News 3 reached out to District 2 Commissioner Dan Belshan who says: "Doing due diligence can sometimes take longer than people wish. After the Board studied it thoroughly, we found that hiring was the right way to go." 

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