Sheriffs Stepping Down: Longtime law enforcement leaders retiring

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR 6) --This year, four longtime Northland sheriffs have said they will be stepping down from their positions and will not seek re-election.

That includes St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman, who is stepping down after more than 20 years and five terms as Sheriff.

In July, Mike Tusken stepped down from his role as Chief of the Duluth Police Department.

“We’ve seen more substantial changes in law enforcement in the last two years than we’d probably seen in the last decade,” Tusken said.

Tusken now serves as the director of the Law Enforcement Program at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

He said there are several reasons law enforcement officials could be stepping down.

“Certainly post-George Floyd, the murder of George Floyd, there’s a lot of legislative changes, there’s a lot of things that have made this job more challenging. There’s more demands, more eyes on what we’re doing,” Tusken said.

While Tusken said he hopes to help tackle some of those challenges in his new role, he also says jobs in law enforcement have a shelf life, and often, people step down after decades in their careers like Litman, who said the pandemic has also provided challenges for law enforcement.

“It’s not just all the post-George Floyd era, you can imagine these last two years working in the environment of the COVID pandemic has created additional challenges,” Litman said.

He said his main reason for retiring is to spend more time with his family.

“I just decided it’s time for me to move on, just primarily for my own personal reasons,” Litman said.

He said he understands people being hesitant to join or remain in law enforcement and public safety positions but is hopeful for the future.

“Despite the issues that have occurred over the last two/three years, people still see this as a great job,” Litman said. “I’m clearly gonna miss it.”

Some of the other sheriffs stepping down include Vic Williams, the Itasca County Sheriff, after 12 years, Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan after 45 years in law enforcement, and

Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec is retiring after 20 years.

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