by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Morrison County Patrol Sergeant Shawn Larsen announced Monday his intention to run for sheriff this year. Following Sheriff Michel Wetzel’s Jan. 23 announcement that he would not run again, Larsen decided to take advantage of the opportunity.
“I have received overwhelming support from within the sheriff’s office and from many others in the community,” Larsen said. “I’ve worked in practically all areas of the office and feel that I am well-rounded and experienced for this position.”
Larsen grew up in Two Rivers Township and graduated from Upsala High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Bemidji State University. He and his wife, Heidi, a special education teacher in Little Falls, have three children.
He currently supervises the deputies and is the lead instructor for firearms and use of force. He commands the critical incident response team.
Larsen is also a firearms instructor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.
He has filled positions in the sheriff’s office as varied as bailiff and dispatcher, water patrol member, correctional officer and narcotics investigator on the Central Minnesota Drug and Gang Task Force.
He spent 13 years working part time for the Little Falls Police Department and served 12 years with the United States Marine Corps Reserve and the Army National Guard.
“My focus will be on expanding the sheriff’s office services to rural schools, while maintaining a cost-effective approach,” Larsen said.
One example of that would be setting up remote satellite stations inside the schools.
“By doing this, deputies will be able to interact more with youth and school officials, being more visible and accessible to rural areas of the county,” said Larsen.
Larsen also intends to implement more drug interdiction patrols, utilizing the talents already within the sheriff’s office.
“With my past experience on the Drug and Gang Task Force, I will make sure that our office remains aggressive with our drug enforcement efforts,” he said. “Michel runs a tight ship, but there are positive changes we could implement.”
Larsen is prepared to continue his commitment of service to the citizens of Morrison County.
“I have good relations within the sheriff’s office and I know what the order of business is here,” he said. “I’m well-placed to take over the role. With my training and credentials I feel like I’m fitted for this position. I’m grateful for what the community has done for me and now it’s time that I give back.”