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Morrison County patrol sergeant to run for sheriff

A 39-year-old Little Falls man announced Monday that he will run for the position of Morrison County’s sheriff this fall.

Shawn Larsen, who has been with the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office for 14-plus years, explained in a news release that he decided to rum for sheriff “I have decided to take the opportunity to fulfill an interest I have to advance myself within the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office. I have ... worked in practically all areas of the office and feel that I am well-rounded and experienced for this position. I have received overwhelming support from within the sheriff’s office organization and many others within the community. Due to my experience and the support from others; as well as my desire for this position, I am ready for this upcoming opportunity.”

Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel announced last month that he won’t seek a fourth term as sheriff this fall.

Larsen is a life-long resident of Morrison County and a graduate of Upsala Area School District. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in criminal justice studies from Bemidji State University.

Larsen is a patrol sergeant where he is in charge of the direct supervision of deputies. He also is the lead instructor for firearms and use of force and commander of the Critical Incident Response Team which consists of operators of the Little Falls Police Department and Morrison County Sheriff’s Office.

Larsen also is a firearms instructor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Through Larsen’s history with the sheriff’s office, he has worked as a narcotics investigator on the Central Minnesota Drug and Gang Task Force, a bailiff, a dispatcher, worked in the water patrol division and in the jail as a correctional officer. He also worked part-time for 13 years for the Little Falls Police Department. He also served 12 years with the Marine Corps Reserve and Army National Guard.

Larsen said in his announcement, “My focus (if elected in November of 2014) will be expanding the sheriff’s office services to the rural schools, while maintaining a cost effective approach. An example is working corroboratively with the schools in our county and setting up remote satellite stations inside the school. By doing this, deputies will be able to interact more with youth and school officials and they will also be more visible and accessible to the rural areas of our county. I see this as a positive change that can be implemented with minimal cost.

“The second issue I will focus on is the enforcement of narcotic related crimes. Drug enforcement efforts need to continue to improve and constantly be re-evaluated to make sure that they are effective. I would like to implement more drug interdiction patrols, utilizing the talents within our office. With my past experience on the Drug and Gang Task Force, I will make sure that our office remains aggressive with our drug enforcement efforts, which will ultimately make Morrison County a safer place to live.

Larsen is married to Heidi, who is a special education teacher at Little Falls Community High School, and they have three children who attend school in Little Falls.

Larsen is a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Little Falls and currently serves on the Youth and Family Ministry Team. He also is a member of the Stand Up 4 U Coalition in Morrison County, a youth alcohol prevention project.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER, staff writer, may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at