Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

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Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Abbreviation HCSO
MN - Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.jpg
Patch of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Motto Dedicated to increasing public safety through leadership, integrity and strong partnerships
Agency overview
Formed 1852
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* County (US) of Hennepin County, Minnesota in the state of Minnesota, USA
Map of Minnesota highlighting Hennepin County.svg
Map of Hennepin County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction.
Size 606 square miles (1,570 km2)
Population 1,140,988 (2008)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Minneapolis, Minnesota
Agency executive

Richard W. Stanek, Sheriff

Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is the sheriff's office for Hennepin County in the state of Minnesota, United States. HCSO serves one million residents and is located downtown in the city of Minneapolis, the county seat. The office manages the county jail, patrols waterways, provides security for the District Court, handles home foreclosures, participates in homeland security activities and in law enforcement, and by state law is responsible for handling applications for permits to carry a firearm for residents of Hennepin County.[1][2][3]


The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Administration manages the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, and is located in Minneapolis City Hall. The administrative staff includes Sheriff Rich Stanek, a Chief Deputy, an Enforcement Services Bureau Major, Investigations Bureau Major, Detention/Court Services Bureau Major, and the Administrative Service Bureau Major and other staff.[4]


Rank Structure[edit]

Title Insignia
4 Gold Stars.svg
Chief Deputy
1 Gold Star.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain insignia gold.svg
US-O1 insignia.svg
LASD Sergeant.jpg

Community Relations[edit]

In 2015 Sheriff Stanek explained its community-oriented policing of "an extremely diverse community with over 1.2 million residents. One of the strengths of Hennepin County, honestly," Stanek said, "is that it is a diverse community and the different of aspects with which we police that diverse community. What it really comes down to is you to build community's of trust which is reflective of the way in which you serve."[6]

Community Engagement Team[edit]

The office's Community Engagement Team is made up of diverse officers from Native American, Black/African American, Asian and European/White heritages.[7]

Internal Affairs Unit[edit]

The Internal Affairs unit reports directly to the Chief Deputy and is responsible for carrying out internal investigations on complaints. They ensure the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is operating at the highest level of integrity and standards.

Finance Division[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Finance Division provides accounting support and reporting for all Sheriff's Office financial activities. The Finance Division develops and manages the Annual Budget and Capital Improvement Plan. The Finance Division serves Hennepin County residents with foreclosure sales, redemptions and executions, civil service of process billing, trust accounting and transfers.

Administrative Services Bureau[edit]

The Administrative Services Bureau oversees operations within the Professional Standards Division. The Professional Standards Division consists of the Personnel Unit, Employee Development Unit, and Information Technology Unit.

Professional Standards Division[edit]

The Professional Standards Division consists of the Administrative Unit, the Employee Development Unit, the Personnel Unit, the Internal Affairs Unit, the Central Records Unit and the Community Engagement Team (CET).

Personnel Unit[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Personnel Unit is responsible for staffing the Sheriff's Office. The Personnel Unit includes the Background Section that conducts intensive background investigations scrutinizing the criminal, prior work performance and credit histories of each applicant to ensure they meet the high standards of employment maintained by the Sheriff's Office. The Personnel Unit provides numerous additional services to its employees and the public including posting promotional opportunities, performing policy reviews, processing payroll and benefits, managing workers compensation claims and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requests, processing applications for concealed weapons permits and offering fingerprinting services.

Employee Development Unit[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Employee Development Unit ensures that members of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office provides training that will enhance and support the skills, knowledge and competence of the members of the Sheriff's Office and the criminal justice community at large. The Employee Development Unit also researches and plans strategies that keep the Sheriff's Office in the forefront of advancing law enforcement practices.

Investigations Bureau[edit]

The Investigations Bureau is in charge of the Investigative Division, Detective Unit, Narcotics Unit, Crime Lab Unit and Violent Offender Task Force Unit.

Investigative Division[edit]

The Investigative Division includes the Hennepin County Violent Offender Task Force, Narcotics Task Forces, Detective Unit, and Criminal Information Sharing $ Analysis (CISA).

Narcotics Unit[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit is one of the most successful drug enforcement units in the state. The Narcotics Unit works in partnership with several task forces including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force, the Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force (Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka), the West Metro Drug Task Force (Medina, Mound, Orono, West Hennepin Public Safety), the Minneapolis/Hennepin Drug Task Force, the Northwest Metro Drug Task Force (Crystal, Golden Valley, Hopkins, New Hope, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, St. Louis Park) and the Metro Gang Strike Force. The Narcotics Unit, based in downtown Minneapolis, targets mid-to high level drug dealers and organizations.

Detectives Unit[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Detective Unit works its own cases and in cooperation with several other law enforcement agencies. Detectives from the Sheriff's Office are assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force, the Gang Prosecution Team of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Violent Offender Task Force Unit[edit]

VOTF was created in February 2007 to help address the problem of violent crime/offenders in Hennepin County.

Forensic Sciences[edit]

The Forensic Sciences Division provides forensic services to suburban Hennepin County law enforcement agencies and several state and federal agencies.

Crime Lab Unit[edit]

Accreditation The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab Unit is one of three accredited crime labs in the State of Minnesota. The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) accredited the Crime Laboratory Unit in 2004 for the forensic services it provides in the criminal justice system. ASCLD/LAB also certified the unit in three of the major forensic science disciplines of analysis: latent fingerprints, DNA/biology and crime scene processing. The unit's Crime Scene Section was the first team of crime scene investigators in Minnesota to earn ASCLD/LAB certification.

The Crime Laboratory Unit includes Administration and Support, Evidence Management, Firearm and Tool Mark, and Multi-medical Evidence.

Crime Scene Unit[edit]

Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) collect evidence at crime scenes, disaster scenes, and other public safety incidents county-wide. CSIs are licensed sheriff's deputies dedicated exclusively to processing crime scenes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Detention/Court Services Bureau[edit]

The Detention/Court Services Bureau encompasses the Adult Detention Division and the Court Services Division, as well as the Hennepin County Medical Center Sheriff's Enforcement Unit.

Adult Detention Division[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) operates the largest jail in Minnesota and the only jail in the state that is accredited by the American Correctional Association. The Sheriff's Office has achieved this distinction because it maintains the highest standards of inmate custody and care.

Many units and divisions within the Sheriff's Office have responsibilities and work assignments at the jail. The Sheriff's Office Adult Detention Division leads the overall management of the facility. The Sheriff's Office, as well as city, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, book arrestees into the jail. In 2013 there were 35,910 inmates booked into the facility.

The Hennepin County Jail is located in Minneapolis and occupies space in both the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility (PSF) and in Minneapolis City Hall. Within the PSF there is a booking unit and 330 inmate housing beds. Across the street in City Hall, there are an additional 509 inmate housing beds on the upper floors of the building.

Court Services Division[edit]

The Court Services Division provides law enforcement services to the Fourth Judicial District Court. The division helps to ensure that the judicial system operates safely, in an orderly manner, and without disruption. In 2013, the Court Services Division escorted 33,552 defendants to court and escorted 1,667 patients to mental health court.

Court Security Unit[edit]

The Court Security Unit provides security to all of Hennepin County's Fourth Judicial District. The Unit is also responsible for the security and safekeeping of all in-custody defendants making court appearances.

Hennepin County Medical Center Sheriff's Enforcement Unit[edit]

The Hennepin County Medical Center Sheriff's Enforcement Unit provides 24/7 law enforcement services for the Hennepin County Medical Center and surrounding area.

Enforcement Services Division[edit]

The Enforcement Services Division includes the following units: Patrol, K-9 and Transport.

Communications Division[edit]

The Sheriff's Office Communications Division operates the largest consolidated public safety answering point in the Upper Midwest, dispatching for 21 fire departments and 24 police agencies in 37 communities. The 911 center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Emergency 911 Dispatch Unit[edit]

When you call 911 from many cities in Hennepin County, you will speak with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Emergency 911 Dispatch Unit. This is often the first point of contact for the caller to request assistance from the public safety community.

Special Operations Division[edit]

This division is composed of the Homeland Security Unit, the Emergency Services Unit "SWAT" team and the multi-jurisdictional WMD Tactical team.

Homeland Security Unit[edit]

The Homeland Security Unit coordinates a number of initiatives involving multiple local agencies and partnerships with Emergency Medical Services "EMS" and the local and State Departments of Health. The Homeland Security Unit also manages a threat and vulnerability assessment team that develops emergency response plans for various sites in Hennepin County. Homeland Security Unit personnel also work as active members of many public and private homeland security working groups, and conduct training sessions for the community, Sheriff's Office personnel and local governmental agencies.

Emergency Services Unit[edit]

The Emergency Services Unit, or ESU, is a highly trained tactical response team drawn from all divisions and units of the Sheriff's Office. It consists of eight crisis negotiators and 34 licensed personnel with sophisticated tactical training complete the unit. Together, they are prepared to react to incidents requiring special weaponry and quick, highly choreographed maneuvers.

Patrol Division[edit]

full length portrait of empty vehicle
Hennepin County Sheriff's car

The Patrol Division oversees the Patrol Unit, Warrant Unit, and Water Patrol Unit. Two of the special deputy units are under the Patrol Division (Emergency Squad, or E-Squad, and the Mounted Patrol). The Emergency Squad consists of special deputies (volunteers). The Emergency Squad responds to emergency calls (accidents, medicals) and supports special events with highly trained personnel. Contained within the Emergency Squad is the Underwater Recovery Team (URT), a group of specialists in underwater rescue and recovery. Many of the special deputies were heavily involved in the recovery efforts at the 35W bridge collapse.

The Mounted Patrol is a group of volunteers that have a love of horses and a need to serve the community. These special deputies offer horse patrols for numerous events, like the Hennepin County Fair.

Patrol Unit[edit]

The Patrol Unit provides emergency response, patrol services, service of civil papers, and warrrant service to communities throughout the county.

In addition, the Sheriff's Office is the primary law enforcement service provider to the following:

  • Fort Snelling
  • Greenfield
  • Hanover
  • Medicine Lake
  • Rockford
  • County Home School
  • Hennepin County Workhouse
  • The 133rd Minnesota Air National Guard
  • 934th U.S. Air Force Air Wing
  • U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Reserves

The Patrol Unit also provides supplemental patrol coverage to a number of smaller police agencies in northwestern Hennepin County as well as specialized patrol service and assistance to all Hennepin County law enforcement agencies.

Water Patrol Unit[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol Unit is responsible for all water-related incidents within the county. The unit fulfills the statutory duties of the Sheriff's Office on waterways and actively patrols the 104 lakes and three rivers in the county. The unit also has jurisdiction and responsibility for other bodies of water including: hottubs, public and private pools, ponds, streams, etc. The unit also provides specialty services such as ice rescue, swift water rescue, under-water recovery and airborne rescue. The unit has many specialized pieces of equipment including watercraft, snowmobiles, side scan and stationary sonar, ATV and cold water emersion suits.[8]

Warrant Unit[edit]

The Sheriff's Office is responsible for the administration and execution of service of arrest warrants, commitments and other court orders issued for persons who are wanted in Hennepin County and/or other jurisdictions. Responsibility for the execution of warrants also involves extraditing wanted individuals back to Hennepin County who are captured in other counties or states.

Transport Unit[edit]

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Transport Unit transports people under the Sheriff's jurisdiction. This includes prisoners in pre-trial detention, post-conviction on the way to a correctional facility and those under the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Division of the District Court.

Information Technology Division[edit]

The Information Technology Division is responsible for all information technology including software, hardware infrastructure and data systems for the Sheriff's Office. It supports over 300 software systems and technology equipment the Sheriff's Office uses to function. The Sheriff's Office IT Division is separated into two functional groups, Operations and Support Unit and Development Unit.

The IT Division provides project management services, technology leadership and consulting to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office as well as other criminal justice agencies in Hennepin County and Minnesota.

Volunteer Services Division[edit]

The Sheriff's Office is proud of our civilian volunteers who donate their time to provide valuable public safety duties.


2016 Deployment to North Dakota[edit]

In October 2016, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office provided support from its special operations division in response to North Dakota officials' mutual aid requests,[9] causing an outcry from Hennepin County citizens and leaders.[10][11] HCSO deputies were deployed to Morton County, North Dakota, along with deputies from neighboring Anoka and Washington Counties, from October 23–31, 2016 as part of an Emergency Management Assistance Compact agreement between the state governments of Minnesota and North Dakota.[12]

Hundreds of citizens protested daily at Hennepin County Government Center and Minneapolis City Hall [13] Among political leaders opposed to Sheriff Rich Stanek's decision were Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith,[14] U.S. Representative Keith Ellison,[15] state Representative Peggy Flanagan,[16] state Representative Karen Clark, state Senator Patricia Torres Ray, Minneapolis City Council member Alondra Cano, Civil rights organizer Clyde Bellecourt [17] and Hennepin County commissioners Marion Greene, Linda Higgins,[18] Cameron Gordon,[19] and Peter McLaughlin who, in a Facebook post said, "Indian Nations have a special interest in this issue and that interest must be protected! There's plenty for the Sheriff to do here in Hennepin County," said McLaughlin. "It is not a priority use of the Sheriff's office resources, which the Sheriff controls by virtue of his election.[20]

An online petition by Honor the Earth called on the Sheriff's department to desist in its participation.

"We are residents of Hennepin County, MN and we are alarmed at the deployment of Hennepin County Sheriff's Department forces to North Dakota to take part in the hyper-militarized and violent repression of peaceful demonstrations in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline. In our judgment, the demonstrations by water protectors on and near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation have been overwhelmingly peaceful, prayerful, dignified, and reverent. They have been exercises of the inherent human rights and constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and assembly. (...) Hennepin County has absolutely no place and no right to support such activity with our tax dollars. We hereby call on all Hennepin County Commissioners and Sheriff Richard Stanek to immediately withdraw all Hennepin County forces from North Dakota." (Honor the Earth)[21]

In response, Sheriff Stanek issued a statement explaining that his office responded to the request from North Dakota to maintain "the public's safety, preserve the peace, and protect the constitutional rights of protesters" and that the deployment was a routine mutual aid agreement between law enforcement agencies.[22][23] Minnesota deputies were released from their duties in Morton County on October 31 after the state fulfilled its part of the EMAC agreement.[24] Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton stated in an interview that the deployment was a routine mutual aid response, and that "It sounds like they conducted themselves very professionally."[25]

Awards and Honors[edit]

2016 IACP/Booz Allen Hamilton Award for the Outstanding Prevention of Terrorism[edit]

HCSO, along with the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Police Departments, was presented the 2016 Outstanding Achievement in the Prevention of Terrorism Award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police at the IACP national conference in San Diego.[26] The award is given annually by IACP to one domestic U.S., and one international law enforcement agency.[27]

U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services Demonstration Site[edit]

HCSO was named one of 15 nationwide demonstration sites for "policing in the 21st Century" by the COPS Office.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What We Do". Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  2. ^ Hughes, Art (2004-09-29). "Government Center shooting brought security changes". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  3. ^ Mador, Jessica (2007-04-13). "Hennepin County foreclosures on pace to double". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  4. ^ Hennepin County Sheriff's Office - HCSO
  5. ^ http://mn.gov/bms/documents/awards/20121107%20Hennepin.pdf
  6. ^ "Hennepin Co Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Team". 
  7. ^ "Community Engagement Team". Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. 
  8. ^ Welcome
  9. ^ "Metro county deputies deployed to North Dakota pipeline protests". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  10. ^ "HCSO Faces Backlash After Sending Deputies To Standing Rock". CBS-Local. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Protests Disrupt Pipelines Across The Northern U.S.". National Public Radio News. Retrieved October 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Minnesota sheriffs defend giving help to police at Standing Rock". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  13. ^ Minneapolis Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/pipeline-protesters-pack-minneapolis-city-hall/399110951/#5. Retrieved October 29, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Minneapolis Patch http://patch.com/minnesota/minneapolis/hennepin-county-sheriffs-office-blasts-lt-gov-tina-smith-over-dakota-access. Retrieved October 29, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Minnesota Public Radio https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/10/28/dapl-protest-twin-cities. Retrieved October 28, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "What's wrong with Sheriff Stanek?". Mary Turck Blog. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  17. ^ Furst, Randy; Brunswick, Mark (October 26, 2016). "Protesters oppose Hennepin County deputies being sent to North Dakota protests". Star Tribune. 
  18. ^ "Marion Green Facebook Post". Marion Greene Facebook Page. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Cameron Gordon Facebook Post". Cameron Gordon Facebook Page. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Peter McLaughlin Facebook Post". Peter McLaughlin Facebook Page. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Hennepin County deputies deployed to North Dakota pipeline protests". Fox 9 News. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Politics played no role in deputies sent to North Dakota pipeline protest, sheriffs say". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  25. ^ "After pipeline protest, Minnesota deputies return home to criticism". West Fargo Pioneer. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Receives Prevention of Terrorism Award". KSTP-TV. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  27. ^ "IACP Booz Allen Hamilton Outstanding Achievement in the Prevention of Terrorism Award". Inernational Association of Chiefs of Police. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Building Blocks of Community Policing". U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]