Dakota Co. Sheriff Bellows Not Seeking Re-Election | News
The current sheriff of Dakota County has decided not to seek re-election.
Sheriff Dave Bellows said the move comes after 35 years in law enforcement. He was up for re-election this year. He has served as the sheriff since 2010.
According to the office's website, Bellows began his career with the Lakeville Police Department in 1980. He worked his way up from patrol officer to lieutenant before joining the sheriff's office.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Tim Leslie is being encouraged to run in Bellow's place.
The Dakota County Sheriff's Office released this statement:
I have decided not to seek another term as Dakota County Sheriff in the 2014 fall election. The opportunity to serve as Sheriff of this great county has been the most gratifying experience in my 35 years of law enforcement. I want to thank the citizens of Dakota County for all their support. It has been my honor to serve them as Sheriff. I particularly want to thank the men and women of the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work and dedication to the citizens and to this organization. Every day they come to work prepared to do a job that is both challenging and difficult, and they do so with a great sense of duty and
The citizens of Dakota County can take pride and comfort in knowing their county continues to be one of the safest places to live. Our crime rates remain very low for a metropolitan county, the third largest in Minnesota. This has been accomplished by maintaining a cooperative spirit in working with our law enforcement partners across the county. The Dakota County Drug Task Force, a countywide collaboration of law enforcement agencies, is recognized as one of the best in Minnesota. The work of the task force in investigating and apprehending individuals responsible for bringing drugs into our community is just one example of how this combined effort makes Dakota County safer for our citizens. Most recently the countywide medication take-back program has proven to be a phenomenal success, resulting in the proper disposal of over three tons of expired, unwanted, and potentially dangerous prescription medications.
As Sheriff, my goal has always been to be a good steward of taxpayer funds. We consistently look for ways to provide high quality services for less cost. Our recent decision to contract for nursing services in the jail instead of using nurses employed by the county saves taxpayers over $160,000 per year, while providing the same level of care. At a cost of less than $1.20 per meal, our jail food costs remain one of the lowest in the State, while still providing the required nutritional standard.
The Dakota County Jail has a reputation for providing high quality inmate programming intended to reduce recidivism. Innovative programs that focus on addiction, anger management, and allowing an inmate to complete their GED are just samples of the opportunities our dedicated staff offers inmates on a daily basis.
I want to thank Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom for his ongoing support and for the guidance and counsel provided me during my time in the Sheriff’s Office. I also want to thank the Dakota County Commissioners and all the elected officials across Dakota County for their support during my tenure as Sheriff.
I am proud of what we have accomplished during my time in this elected position. It is essential for the Sheriff’s Office to continue to provide progressive and innovative services for our citizens. Chief Deputy Sheriff Tim Leslie has been instrumental in the operation and strategic planning in the Sheriff’s Office; that is why I am encouraging Tim to run for Dakota County Sheriff. Tim Leslie is well respected in Minnesota’s law enforcement community, having previously served in positions of senior leadership in the St. Paul Police Department and as Assistant Commissioner in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. His experience and leadership has been invaluable to me and the citizens of Dakota County.
I look forward to completing my term through the remainder of this year; it has been my sincere pleasure to serve as your Dakota County Sheriff.