Freitag is on the right track

Published 10:25 am Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Albert Lea Tribune endorsed the opponent of Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag prior to the November election. As editor, I was instrumental in our choice. It was a difficult decision clouded by controversy. We went with Bob Kindler after the last debate and interviews of both candidates. It was my job to make tough endorsements, so I made it. 

But now that Freitag has been in office, he has proven to be unlike any sheriff I have met in my journalism career spanning four states and 20 years. He called me up to seek my input.

As a new sheriff, he wanted to know the community, not just me alone, and asked certain key people what direction he should take. Every new job I have had, I do that, too. I am doing it in Fergus Falls right now. Freitag was gracious despite not being endorsed and understands speaking to media reporters is truly speaking to the people who read, listen or watch the media, something many sheriffs fail to grasp. Newspaper readers especially are the educated folks who support law enforcement and desire a law-abiding community. They tend to want a peaceful town. They help the cops.

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Over the years covering fires, crashes and mayhem, I have appreciated Freitag’s rapport with the public and had complimented him on being approachable, long before the election season ever began.

I often have said I wished Freeborn County could find that kind of sheriff who held the position for decades, like so many other county sheriffs nearby do. I have to say that Freitag is on the right track to be that sheriff. I wish him the best. He understands civics is not meant to be taken personally and, from what I have read, is on the right track toward sound policies.


Tim Engstrom 

former Albert Lea Tribune editor

Fergus Falls