Meet the elected sheriff

Richard W. Stanek is the 27th Sheriff of Hennepin County. He was first sworn in on January 1, 2007, and is currently serving his third term.

Sheriff Stanek established two new crime-fighting units at the sheriff’s office to serve law enforcement agencies and communities throughout the county:

  • The violent offender task force, which conducts focused investigations on the county’s most violent offenders
  • The criminal information sharing and analysis unit, which works with law enforcement partners to provide analysis on criminal trends and activity 

In Minnesota, he has led the effort to improve psychiatric care for inmates with mental illness.

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As a 32-year veteran of law enforcement, Sheriff Stanek began in the Minneapolis Police Department, rising through the ranks from patrol officer to commander of criminal investigations.  While serving as a police officer, Sheriff Stanek was elected five times to the Minnesota State Legislature where he authored the state’s felony DWI law. In 2003, he was appointed commissioner of public safety and director of homeland security for Minnesota. 

Throughout his career, Sheriff Stanek has been committed to connecting at-risk kids with positive role models. He founded the Hennepin County Sheriff Foundation to provide programs for disadvantaged youth and support the sheriff’s office volunteers. Additionally, he serves in leadership roles for local non-profit groups that help youth, including Treehouse and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

Sheriff Stanek also serves in leadership positions with several national organizations.  The U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Sheriff Stanek to FirstNet, which is working to develop a wireless broadband network for public safety nationwide. He is on the board of directors for the National Sheriffs’ Association and is also the immediate past president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association.  

Sheriff Stanek earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University. He and his family live in Maple Grove.

Initiatives as sheriff

During his leadership of the agency, Sheriff Stanek developed the following initiatives with sheriff’s office command staff, sheriff’s office personnel, and law enforcement partners.

The Sheriff’s Community Engagement Team (CET)

  • Consists of sheriff’s office personnel, including Sheriff Stanek, who meet regularly with residents from diverse communities
  • Discuss crime prevention and public safety issues, as well as how to build trust between residents and law enforcement 

The Sheriff's Community Advisory Board

  • Gets updates regarding the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office budget, public policy initiatives, reform efforts, and educational outreach
  • Provide input and oversight to ensure the agency is transparent and accountable

Crime-fighting collaboratives

These crime prevention partnerships have reduced violent crime rates across the county, the metro area and the state.

Northwest Hennepin Crime Collaborative

Membership includes: 

  • Sheriff's office, county attorney's office and county corrections from Hennepin County
  • Police departments from Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Champlin, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Crystal, New Hope, and Metro Transit.

West Hennepin Crime Collaborative

  • Sheriff's office, county attorney's office and county corrections from Hennepin County
  • Police departments from Three Rivers Park District, West Hennepin Public Safety, Corcoran, Deephaven, Medina, Minnestrista, Orono, Rogers, Wayzata, and Southlake Minnetonka.

Southwest Hennepin Crime Collaborative

  • Sheriff's office, county attorney's office and county corrections from Hennepin County
  • Police departments from Bloomington, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, Edina, Golden Valley, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Richfield, and Hopkins.

Metro Regional Information Collaborative

  • A collaborative of sheriff offices from Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Anoka, Dakota, Carver, Sherburne, and McLeod Counties
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