By Kristen Miller
MEEKER COUNTY, MN After four years serving as Meeker County Sheriff, and 32 combined years in law enforcement, Sheriff Jeff Norlin has announced his retirement in January 2015.
With 2014 being an election year, Norlin said he wanted to give plenty of time for those considering to run for the elected position.
“It’s only fair,” he commented.
The filing period for the primary election will be Tuesday, May 20 through Tuesday, June 3. The actual primary takes place the second Tuesday in August.
Norlin was appointed in 2009, after the retirement of Mike Hirman, and was elected to office in 2010.
He had served in the county as a patrol officer and K-9 officer before serving as chief deputy for 17 years, according to a news release.
Norlin explained that there were several factors leading to this decision including his need “to do something different.”
He also referenced the change in the Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota’s pension plan that is forcing many peace officers to consider early retirement before changes take effect in June.
He noted that counties did get an extension to allow sheriffs to finish their terms.
Though his retirement plans aren’t “set in stone,” they do not include anything law enforcement-related or a job with the county.
As Norlin retires from the sheriff’s department, his goal has been to leave the office “in good shape,” which has included staying in line with the budget, Norlin noted.
What he will miss the most about his office will be the staff he works with day-in-and-day-out and those in the courthouse.
“There’s a lot of good people here,” he commented.
Norlin’s last day as sheriff will be Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, the day before the newly elected sheriff takes office.
Qualifications for office
The filing requirements for the office of sheriff are as follows:
• must be a licensed peace officer;
• must be eligible to vote in Minnesota;
• must be 21 years of age assuming office;
• and must be a resident within the county at least 30 days prior to the general election.