Richard W. Stanek is the 27th Sheriff of Hennepin County and is serving his third term in Minnesota’s largest county with 1.2 million residents. He was first elected in November of 2006, and was re-elected in 2014.
A 30-year veteran of law enforcement, Sheriff Stanek began his career in the Minneapolis Police Department; he rose through the ranks from Patrol Officer, Detective, Commander of Criminal Investigations, to Precinct Commander. While a police officer, Sheriff Stanek was elected five times to the Minnesota State Legislature; he chaired the House Crime Policy & Finance Committee and authored several omnibus crime bills, including: Minnesota’s Felony DWI law, DNA collection for predatory offenders, and Minnesota’s Homeland Security Act. In 2003, the Governor appointed him Commissioner of Public Safety & Director of Homeland Security for Minnesota. He was the first person to lead that agency after it had been expanded to include a homeland security component following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Sheriff Stanek currently serves in leadership positions with several national organizations: National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) Executive Committee, chair of the NSA Homeland Security Committee, and co-chair of the NSA Global Policing Affairs Committee. The U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Sheriff Stanek to the board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) which is developing the first nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.
Sheriff Stanek serves on the Committee on Terrorism for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was elected Vice President of the LinCT Alumni Association Executive Team. He is the immediate past president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association (MCSA). Among his responsibilities with MCSA, Sheriff Stanek participated in President Obama’s national law enforcement working group convened by the White House to address gun violence and mental health.
He serves on both the Director of National Intelligence’s Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team and Homeland Security/Law Enforcement Advisory Board. He is a member of the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council which advises the U.S. Attorney General on public safety and criminal justice issues.
Sheriff Stanek earned a Criminal Justice Degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Hamline University.