Meet the Sheriff

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 set up 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.

New Initiatives

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: The Community Advisory Board meets regularly to get updates regarding the Sheriff’s Office budget, public policy initiatives, reform efforts, and educational outreach. The Sheriff’s role is different than the role of a police chief. The Sheriff works directly for the voters of the County; these residents provide input and oversight to ensure the agency stands transparent and accountable.

Crime-fighting Collaboratives: These crime prevention and crime-fighting partnerships have been successful in reducing violent crime rates across the county. Each collaborative also include the County Attorney’s Office and County Corrections.

Northwest Hennepin Crime Collaborative includes the Sheriff’s Office and the following police departments: Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Champlin, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Crystal, New Hope, and Metro Transit. Police Department

West Hennepin Crime Collaborative includes the Sheriff’s Office and the following police departments: Three Rivers Park District, West Hennepin Public Safety, Corcoran, Deephaven, Median, Minnetrista, Orono, Rogers, Wayzata, and Southlake Minnetonka.  

Southwest Hennepin Crime Collaborative includes the Sheriff’s Office and the following police departments: includes the Sheriff’s Office and the following police departments: Bloomington Police, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, Edina, Golden Valley, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Richfield, and Hopkins. 

The Metro Regional Information Collaborative includes the Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff’s Offices following counties: Ramsey, Washington, Anoka, Dakota, Carver, Sherburne and McLeod.

Sheriff’s Military Appreciation (“SMART”): SMART is a program that was first created in the Sheriff’s Office to help veteran employees before, during, and after military deployments.  An office in the U.S. Department of Defense has presented awards to the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s Office for the SMART program and its support of Sheriff’s Office personnel who are also members of the National Guard and Reserves.    

Extreme Gun Violence: As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Hennepin County, Sheriff Stanek coordinated regional training exercises to improve our response capabilities during an active shooter incident and other large scale emergencies. These training events included HCSO deputies, hundreds of police officers, and community leaders from our schools, businesses, and places of worship.


Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Photos