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Sheriff's Corner: National Volunteer Month

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April is National Volunteer Month and I would like to use this column to recognize the many people that volunteer in several different capacities with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

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The sheriff’s office volunteers foster community involvement, awareness and support of the sheriff’s office and are very important in day-to-day functions of our office. Volunteering also provides additional resources, time and talent to enhance the mission of the sheriff’s office. Our volunteers are highly valued and are a significant component of public safety. There are many volunteer organizations and groups throughout the county and in public safety including fire departments and first response and rescue groups. We are fortunate these highly skilled individuals take the time to commit to the safety of our communities. I would like to highlight a few of the groups directly associated with the sheriff’s office.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse consists of approximately 22 members who volunteer their time, horses, equipment and expertise in providing security and presence for county-wide events, such as fairs, searching for missing persons and assisting in other investigations. These individuals train together on a regular basis to ensure their services are effective.

TRIAD is a State and National volunteer organization consisting of senior citizens and law enforcement working together. TRIAD is a community-based partnership between law enforcement, senior citizens and agencies involved in senior issues and its sole purpose is to enhance senior safety and reduce criminal victimization of senior citizens. There are approximately 51 active TRIAD members in Cass County. TRIAD focuses on developing programs and projects that keep senior citizens safe and on fostering a relationship and improving communication between law enforcement and seniors.

Cass County Sheriff’s Office Chaplaincy Initiative provides networking and collaboration between law enforcement and clergy members in identifying needs and providing advocacy, support and assistance to members of the community and staff, as needed. The chaplains are here to serve community members in times of crisis situations. They are not intended, nor do they wish, to replace an individual’s clergyperson. They provide assistance to law enforcement and the people of Cass County through a field service ministry. The Chaplains provide guidance, counseling and comfort in times of crisis to the people of Cass County, including helping to provide spiritual guidance and counseling to all members of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, both sworn and civilian, and their families in time of need. The services of a chaplain are available on a twenty-four hour, seven day a week basis at the request of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office or its employees. Currently there are 15 chaplains involved in the initiative.

The Cass County Sheriff Office’s Civil Service Commission adopts rules to promote efficiency within the sheriff’s office and establishes eligibility lists from which applicants are hired.

The Lakes Area Dive Team is a non-profit 22-member volunteer public safety dive team providing emergency dive rescue and recovery services to Beltrami, Cass and Hubbard counties. The team is funded by the counties, townships and private donations. The dive team has monthly training and meeting events and responds to a variety of requests from the Sheriff’s Office.

Boat and Water Safety Volunteers provide a valuable resource in the Boat and Water Safety Program. They patrol Woman Lake, Pleasant Lake, Ten Mile Lake and the Outing Lakes area. Volunteers, such as Gull Area Lakes Association (GALA), take the responsibility in maintaining many of the buoys on lakes within the county. There are approximately 70 volunteers associated with this program.

The Cass County Sheriffs Office is very proud and appreciative of all of these volunteer groups that provide assistance and support to our daily services. These volunteers are vital in our mission of efficient and effective delivery of law enforcement services to the citizens and visitors of Cass County. We appreciate and thank you for your time, talent and friendships.

If you have specific questions that you would like answered in this column or in person, please feel free to contact me anytime using one of the following methods: email at tom.burch@co.cass.mn.us; by phone at 218-547-1424 or 800-450-2677; by mail/in person to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, 303 Minnesota Ave. W., PO Box No. 1119, Walker, MN 56484.

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