Richard W. Stanek is the 27th Sheriff of Hennepin County. He was first sworn in on January 1, 2007, was re-elected in 2010 and 2014, 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 Hennepin County Violent Offender Task Force conducts focused investigations on the county’s most violent offenders. The Criminal Information Sharing & Analysis Unit works with law enforcement partners to provide analysis on crime trends and criminal activity in an effort to prevent and solve crime. In Minnesota, he has led the effort to improve psychiatric care for inmates with mental illness.
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 as Commissioner of Public Safety & 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.
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): The Community Engagement Team, which includes Sheriff Stanek, is a group of Sheriff’s Office personnel who meet regularly with residents from diverse communities. They discuss crime prevention and public safety issues. Together the CET and community members build trust between residents and law enforcement.
The Sheriff's Community Advisory Board: This group meets regularly to get updates regarding the HCSO budget, public policy initiatives, reform efforts, and educational outreach. These residents 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.
Northwest Hennepin Crime Collaborative: Sheriff's Office, County Attorney's Office and County Corrections as well as the following police departments: 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 as well as the following police departments: Three Rivers Park District, West Hennepin Public Safety, Corcoran, Deephaven, Medina, Minnestrista, Orono, Rogers, Wayzata, and Southlake Minnetonka.
Southewest Hennepin Crime Collaborative: Sheriff's Office, County Attorney's Office and County Corrections as well as the following police departments: Bloomington, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, Edina, Golden Valley, Minnetonka, minneapolis, Richfield, and Hopkins.
Metro Regional Information Collaborative: a collaborative of Sheriff Offices from the following counties: Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Anoka, Dakota, Carver, Sherburne, and McLeod.