Guest Column: A day in the life of a deputy
Guest Column by Sgt. Mitch Hagen
What does a standard day look like for a Freeborn County deputy? The truth is, there is no standard day. That is one of the beautiful things about this job; you never know what the shift is going to bring or whom you are going to encounter. From the moment we sign on duty until the time we sign off, we are typically doing one of four core functions. We are either patrolling the roadways, providing business and town security, answering calls for service or writing reports.
While patrolling, our goal is to provide a presence on the roadway to deter traffic violations and prevent crashes. Sometimes this presence requires the education and enforcement of Minnesota state statutes through warnings, citations and sometimes arrests.
In addition, while out patrolling, deputies routinely drive through towns in the county and check county businesses providing security to the citizens of Freeborn County. While doing this, deputies are looking for suspicious activity in residential neighborhoods and with the local businesses. With these patrols happening around the clock, deputies become familiar with which businesses leave certain lights on at night and when things look out of the ordinary. When we find an unsecured door or something out of the ordinary, we contact the owner or leave a card on the door, letting the owner know we checked the business at night. We will also provide extra patrols for residents under certain circumstances.
At any time during the shift, deputies can be called away from the above two tasks. We never know when a call is going to come in until our badge number is called on the radio. This is where things can get interesting. It could be a minor call such as taking information on a stalled vehicle or it could be a call that takes up the rest of our shift and then some. With such a close-knit group between deputies and dispatchers, oftentimes we can tell in someone’s voice over the radio what type of call it is going to be. These calls can lead to short information reports or hours-long investigations that lead to arrests. Some calls can leave us feeling as if we have made a positive difference in someone’s life, and others can be so tragic, we will never forget them. Sure, some days are worse than others are, but I think the good will always outweigh the bad.
Then we get to the reports. From one-page reports to two-inch thick case files, a hefty amount of time is spent documenting the things we do whether it be for informational purposes or for successful prosecution of crimes. Regardless of the case, it almost certainly needs to be documented in one form or another.
Truthfully, this article only scratches the surface of all the duties our deputies are responsible for. None of the above taps into the additional duties that many deputies do, such as instructing staff for annual certifications, operating all of our specialized equipment, working the K-9 and more.
The bottom line is we feel fortunate to work here and serve the great citizens of Freeborn County. The support we have received from the community over the past few years has been incredible, and we cannot thank you enough. Rest assured, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office is staffed with great men and women who are trained, educated and stand ready to serve you as best we can no matter what the case.
Sgt. Mitch Hagen is a deputy with the Freeborn County Sherrif’s Department.