History of the Dakota County Sheriff's Office
In 1849, the County of Dakota was created as part of the original nine counties in Minnesota. The population at that time was more than 1,000 Native Americans and 149 white settlers. In 1853, A.R. French was appointed as the first Sheriff of Dakota County.
Citizens in Dakota County felt a need for a county jail, even before they felt the need to build a courthouse. Construction on the jail began in 1870. Construction of the courthouse began one year later, in 1871.
When the United States began to motorize, deputies could be seen patrolling the county on motorcycles, as well as automobiles.
The 1930's was an era of change in the county marked by violence and organized crime activity. These changes were felt by the law enforcement community beginning with the murder of Deputy Rudolph Fischer at the jail by a burglar he had earlier arrested. Leo Pavlak, a South St. Paul officer, was killed by a member of the notorious Ma Barker Gang. Deputies and the Hastings Police Chief chased John Dillinger's vehicle over the Spiral Bridge. One of Dillinger's gang members was killed by a Hastings police officer.
Dakota County has grown to be the third most heavily populated county in the State, following Hennepin and Ramsey counties. It is the fastest growing county (numerically) in the State of Minnesota. The Dakota County Sheriff's Office has grown to include nearly 200 employees.
|Tim Leslie||2015 to current|
|Dave Bellows||2010 to 2014|
|Don Gudmundson||1995 to 2010|
|Rod Boyd||1974 to 1994|
|C.L. "Chuck" Cherry||1954 to 1974|
|Norman Dieter||1938 to 1954|
|Joseph J. Heinen||1934 to 1938|
|J. J. Dunn||1918 to 1934|
|Michael Murnane||1911 to 1918|
|James McDevitt||1909 to 1911|
|Frank McDevitt||1907 to 1909|
|J. J. Grisim||1901 to 1907|
|John Hyland||1889 to 1901|
|Hugh Connelly||1883 to 1889|
|J. F. Newton||1887 to 1883|
|Stephen Newell||1863 to 1887|
|Issac M. Ray||1859 to 1863|
|John Devlin||1855 to 1859|
|F. J. Barlett||1853 to 1855 (first election)|
|Alpheus R. French||Appointed April 26, 1853|