Strom, Shea move on in Freeborn County sheriff’s race

Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Top 2 in race for sheriff were separated by less than 125 votes

Albert Lea Police Lt. Jeff Strom and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ryan Shea will move ahead to the general election in the race for Freeborn County sheriff.

Jeff Strom

Strom won the primary election  with 2,435 votes — or 36.72% — while Shea had 2,317 — or 34.94%. 

Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dale Glazier came in third with 1,879 votes — or 28.34% — and will not advance. 

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“I just want to thank everybody that helped me to this point, and I’ve got more work to do,” Strom said by phone from a get-together with friends and family. “If people haven’t met me and they don’t know me, I’d like them to get to know me and speak with me.” 

Strom, who lives right outside of Albert Lea, has worked for the Albert Lea Police Department since 1987 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1997, which includes supervision and mentoring of other officers. 

Over the years Strom has been a part of numerous efforts within the department and the community, including starting the Law Enforcement Explorer program for Albert Lea in 1998, which eventually was turned over to the Sheriff’s Office, as well as coordinating the Safe and Sober program and the Toward Zero Deaths program locally.

Ryan Shea

He has led the Albert Lea Police Department Citizens Academy, and served on the Multidisciplinary Child Protection Team, the Freeborn County Truancy Panel and the advisory board for the Crime Victims Crisis Center.

In addition, he has also been involved with numerous community efforts. 

“I look forward to moving on and hopefully representing the sheriff’s office in the future,” Strom said. 

Shea, who was unable to be reached for comment as he was in the middle of a homicide investigation south of Albert Lea, has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 2000 and was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2011 and then to detective in 2014, where he has worked ever since.

As a patrol officer, Shea was a field training officer and served as union steward for the patrol deputies unit. He has also been steward for the patrol sergeant and detective unions. 

While a patrol sergeant, he took supervisory classes, including through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in supervision and management, and has taken numerous investigative classes as a detective. 

Shea, who lives south of Albert Lea, has also been involved with numerous community efforts, including trap team coach for the Albert Lea High School, adviser for the Youth Archery Club , as well as numerous other roles with his church.

Dale Glazier

Glazier said Wednesday morning though he was disappointed in the outcome, he had fun campaigning and talking to people in the county and was proud he ran a clean and honest campaign.

“We have a great community,” Glazier said. “I enjoyed it.”

He said he does not intend to run again and will continue with his position until it’s time to retire.