Wadena County Sheriff Michael D. Carr announced this week he will seek a third term as Wadena County sheriff.
Carr, who was first elected as sheriff in 2006, has been in law enforcement for 20 years. He was re-elected in 2010. The sheriff started his career with the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office in 1994, and then worked with the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office in 1995. He worked for the Verndale and Staples Police Departments as a part-time patrol officer and advanced through the Menahga, Baxter and Wadena Police Departments before being hired as a full-time peace officer by the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Carr holds an associate of arts degree from Brainerd Community College, a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Bemidji State University, and Skills Component Training from Hibbing Community College. He is a 2007 Graduate of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association School, and a 2008 graduate of the National Sheriff’s School in Longmont, Colo. He is currently the third vice president of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association. Sheriff Carr has attended many leadership training courses throughout his career, specializing in adult and child protection investigation and narcotics investigation, and is a field training officer and Wadena/Hubbard County Swat team leader.
“I certainly appreciate the confidence, the trust and continued support of the people who have backed me both professionally and personally,” Carr said in a statement. “I believe together we have accomplished many important things on behalf of both the office and the citizens that we serve. It has truly been an honor to serve as your sheriff. I have set out many goals and established high standards. I have a great staff that works tirelessly to make Wadena County a safe place to live and raise a family.
“We have turned our Sheriff’s Office into one of the most progressive and innovative in Greater Minnesota, successfully implementing the latest technological advances,” said Carr. “I am very proud of how we, as law enforcement, have responded to the several natural disasters that have occurred in Wadena County over the past seven years, and the cooperation that has grown between multi-jurisdictional agencies we deal with on a regular basis, including law enforcement, fire departments, first responders and ambulance services. This type of interaction is essential to providing a safe community, especially when it comes to dealing with catastrophic events.
“I will continue to work hard in this area, and I welcome your input into how your Sheriff’s Office works and handles events that occur within the county and in your communities,” Carr said. “We have and will continue to be part of the West Central Drug Task Force, trying to rid our county of illegal drugs and illicit prescription drug traffic.
“I know that when family members may have to be incarcerated in jail, it becomes difficult for everyone involved. We work hard to keep our jail clean and scoring high with the Department of Corrections — last year’s rating was 99.9 percent. I encourage our staff to treat all inmates and prisoners with respect and dignity, while still keeping the public safe.
“Probably the most difficult issue facing the Sheriff’s Office today — like all other public offices — is the amount of funding that is available for service demands from all walks of society. Budgets reflect personnel costs as well as the supplies and equipment associated with said personnel; a careful review of those expenditures is done regularly to ensure maximum efficiency without affecting public safety,” Carr said. “We are providing cross-training sessions in which we have instructors who train Sheriff’s Office staff along with the officers of our local police departments in applicable areas to reduce costs for county and city taxpayers. I believe that innovative ideas and exchange of information are important to address the never-ending issues of how to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.
“It has truly been a humbling experience and honor to serve the residents of Wadena County as your sheriff,” he said. “If re-elected, I promise to strive for continued fiscal responsibility, and to provide you with the same level of law enforcement professionalism as I have these past seven years.”
Carr is a member of the Verndale Fire Department, Wadena Elks Club, Stocking Lake Booster Club, Knob Hill Sportsman Club, Wadena Rotary, Immanuel Lutheran Church (Wadena), Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, National Sheriff’s Association, West Central Drug Task Force Board, and CHAMPS of Wadena County.
Mike and his daughter Jordan, 15, live in Verndale.