Public Safety Services
Commanded by Major Shane Magnuson
911 Dispatch Division
The sheriff’s office operates the Emergency Communications Facility (ECF) in Plymouth. The center handles over 600,000 emergency and non-emergency calls each year. Emergency calls include fires, accidents, crimes, and health crises.
The ECF is one of the largest consolidated dispatch centers in the upper Midwest. It handles calls for over 50 law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and emergency medical service providers.
The ECF also houses a radio system that allows direct communication between different law enforcement agencies.
Enforcement Services Division
We work with our K9 (dog) partners to track missing persons, catch suspects, search buildings, search for evidence, find illegal drugs, and sweep for explosives.
Sheriff’s patrol provides emergency response throughout the county. Patrol deputies also provides primary law enforcement to Greenfield, Hanover Medicine Lake, Rockford, Fort Snelling, 133rd Minnesota Air National Guard, 934th U.S. Air Force Air Wing, and U.S. Marine Corp/Navy Reserves.
Special Operations Unit
This unit coordinates preparation and response to sudden events requiring large-scale law enforcement response. These include active shooters and other threats, emergencies, natural disasters, civil unrest, and large public events. We also provide other agencies with training, personnel, and equipment for these types of events.
We respond to events like hostage rescue, barricaded suspects, and high-risk arrest warrants. Our goal is to achieve peaceful solutions to dangerous situations.
We are trained and equipped to respond to events in the county that involve weapons of mass destruction or hazardous materials.
This unit brings inmates to hearings and convicted inmates to correctional facilities. We also take mental health patients to court hearings or treatment facilities. Each year, we transport more than 12,000 inmates and mental health patients.
Water Patrol Unit
Hennepin County has 3 rivers and more than 100 lakes. We patrol waterways, respond to water-related events, and perform rescues on all lakes and rivers in the county. We also issue permits for temporary water structures and planned water events. Water patrol services
Other Enforcement Services Division Units
- HSEU - Hospital Security Unit
- Special Deputy Unit (VSD)
IT Technology Division
Much like any industry or line of work, the HCSO relies heavily on technology to deliver services to the people of Hennepin County.
We focus on deploying new technology, updating existing technology, and finding new ways to improve the efficiency of the public safety services we deliver to the citizens of Hennepin County.
Commanded by Major Rick Palaia
This bureau investigates violent crime, illegal drug cases, sex trafficking, and other crime.
Information sharing and collaboration assists in prevention and suppression of criminal activity. We support criminal intelligence and crime analysis.
Some of the things we do are:
- Analyze information to identify crime patterns
- Forecast criminal trends
- Generate investigative leads
- Assist with identification and apprehension of suspects
- Share threats to our communities or officer safety
- Enhance collaboration
- Improve law enforcement partnerships
- Provide oversight of many functions and services
Forensic Science Laboratory
We provide forensic services to more than 35 law enforcement agencies, Minnesota State Patrol, and other state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Our areas of expertise include biology, crime scenes, evidence, firearms, and fingerprints.
The forensic science lab is internationally accredited. It has the following areas:
- DNA Section
- Firearm Section
- Latent Print Section
- Crime Scene Unit
Major Crimes Division
This division conducts hundreds of investigations into criminal activity annually. Through its various units, the Major Crimes Division conducts focused investigations on the most violent offenders, works collaboratively with other agencies for narcotics investigations, and much more.
Major Crimes Division Units
- Detectives Unit
- Gun Permit Unit
- County Attorney Unit
- Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF)
- West Metro Drug Task Force (WMDTF)
- Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force (SWHDTF)
Criminal Intelligence Division (CID)
This division assists in the prevention and suppression of criminal activity. We provide timely and accurate analysis of criminal information to area law enforcement.
The division analyzes information to identify crime patterns and forecast criminal trends. The analysis generates investigative leads. These leads assist with identification and apprehension of suspects. Analysis also helps us provide information on threats to our communities or to officer safety.
Our division enhances collaboration and improves law enforcement partnerships. We provide oversight of functions and services and protect civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy interests.
Criminal Intelligence Division Units
- Criminal Information Sharing and Analysis (CISA) Unit
- Metro Regional Information Collaboration (MRIC) Task Force
- High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Investigative Support Center (HIDTA ISC)
- Homeland Security
- FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)
- Threat Assessment Unit
- Shield Program
Commanded by Major Dan Kurtz
Professional Standards Division
Employee Development Unit
This unit coordinates training for all sheriff’s office personnel. We conduct new employee orientation and coordinate employee training. We also provide specialized training to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Local police department reserve officers throughout the county receive their training from us. Each year we provide about 4,000 hours of training to about 100 law enforcement volunteers.
Internal Affairs Unit
We thoroughly investigate all allegations of employee misconduct or criticism of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. We provide a fair and effective way for people to voice their complaints. It’s our responsibility to ensure the integrity of the sheriff's office.
File an internal affairs complaint
We have initiatives to recruit employees from diverse backgrounds.
Other Professional Standards Division Units
- Administrative unit
Detention and Court Services
Commanded by Major Mary Jerde
Adult Detention Division
We manage a jail that houses inmates before trial.
The jail holds up to 800 inmates at any given time and about 40,000 a year.
The jail is nationally accredited, keeping up with high standards of inmate custody and care. We also run an education program for inmates.
Other Adult Detention areas
- Jail Volunteer Unit (VSD)
- Central Records
Court Services Division
We escort over 14,000 people to court each year. We keep order and safety in courtrooms, carry out patrols and security checks, and help with weapons screening. We provide security for judges, juries, witnesses, court staff, and all court visitors.
- Government Center
- Division 2: Brookdale
- Division 3: Ridgedale and Southdale
- Public Safety Facility
- Juvenile Justice Center
- Family Justice Center
- Conciliation Court
Commanded by Major Patrick Enderlein
Community Outreach and Public Affairs Division
The primary mission of the Community Outreach and Public Affairs division is to build relationships, trust, and empathy between HCSO and those we serve within Hennepin County. We recognize the value of collaborating with all community members to reduce crime and build public trust. Our community engagement team works with communities in and around Hennepin County to build lasting relationships and develop initiatives tailored specifically to them. Together we identify public safety concerns and create ways to improve public safety and community wellness.
The COPA division is involved in a variety of youth programs and engagement opportunities, such as our HCSO Explorer Post.
We also educate the public about safety issues and how to avoid scams. Issues include drug use, safety on and around the water, home safety, and phone scams.
Avoiding phone scams
Citizens law enforcement academy
Opioid overdose prevention
WISE: Water and ice safety education
We encourage residents to take part in our Citizen Academy to learn more about what the Sheriff's Office does.
We have initiatives to recruit employees from diverse backgrounds into a variety of positions to support our high level of service to the community. This includes engaging in the community, attending job fairs, hosting information sessions for potential recruits, facilitating internship opportunities, and more.
Tri-Wellness and Retention Unit
The primary mission of this unit is to retain HCSO employees and provide wellness support throughout their career. Our Tri-Wellness initiatives embrace opportunities and programs that help staff manage their overall well-being. This includes the Sheriff's Military Activation and Reintegration Training (SMART) program that was started to support our military and veteran employees with returning to work. Additional support for HCSO staff includes a licensed marriage and family therapist, a peer-to-peer support team comprised of HCSO employees, several chaplains, and a fitness consultant.
External Communications Unit
This unit supports media relations by assisting members of the media in gathering information and reporting on news events. They also provide information that promotes transparency and keeps the public informed on HCSO’s activities.
Data Practices and Policy Review Unit
This unit ensures HCSO complies with all relevant records requests we receive from a variety of sources including the public and/or other government entities. HCSO embraces the county’s open government philosophy as a transparent organization that is accountable to its residents.
For more information or to make a data request, please follow the link below:
Open government | Hennepin County
The unit also leads development of HCSO’s policies and procedures. We maintain a policy manual to ensure compliance with federal mandates, state statutes, and office rules.