Ramsey County Sheriff's Office Public Newsletter - October 2018

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"The Heart of Service"


Deputy Academy week 1 september 2018

Surviving Deputy Academy - Week #1

Congrats to our seven new recruits for navigating a gauntlet of challenges and successfully wrapping up Week #1 of Deputy Academy on September 21st.

Coursework and practical exercises for the week included training in firearms, use of force, chemical spray, taser, policies and procedures, legal issues, and a healthy dose of CrossFit.

Our new recruits are expected to wrap up their 8-week Academy in November.

The RCSO has many job and career opportunities that become available throughout the year, along with abundant volunteer opportunities. Check out our openings.

Celebrating Over 60+ Years of Combined Service

Kevin Otto retirement

It was a packed house on September 27th as we honored Commander Ron Knafla and Sergeant Kevin Otto for their 60+ years of combined service to the people of Ramsey County...and wished them a fond farewell as they both step into retirement!

Sergeant Otto started with the RCSO working in the ADC and Annex in 1988. He served in patrol, courts, as an Active Shooter Instructor, a School Resource Officer, on SWAT, Watch Commander and most recently as Sergeant in the Community Support Services Unit.

Commander Knafla joined the RCSO in 1986 as a Lakes and Trails Reserve Deputy, then joined the ranks of sworn members in 1988. His career covered a swath of roles, including K9 handler, K9 Instructor, School Resource Officer, Dive Team member, and Courts Commander.

We hope retirement is good to you both, and we wish you all the best!

Ron Knafla retirement

Making Gains and Staying Fit

Deputy Academy week 2 September 2018



- the condition of being physically fit and healthy.

A "healthy" emphasis in each of our Deputy Academies is on physical fitness.

Our newest deputy recruits and our RCSO training team epitomized 'fitness' recently with a grueling workout on the stairs of the Minnesota Science Museum carrying 30-50 pound bags of sand...and interspersed with some push-ups, mountain-climbers, and burpees for good measure.

Spreading the #NotAnotherOverdose Message

Sheriffs and Dick Beardsley

Meeting Minnesota running legend Dick Beardsley at a recent event was both a highlight and humbling, as Dick shared his own story of his history with opioid addiction and his eventual recovery.

Sheriff Jack Serier, along with Sheriff Tim Leslie - Dakota County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Dan Starry - Washington County Sheriff's Office, plus the Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington County Attorney's Offices all assembled in mid-September with a group of criminal justice, education, rehabilitation/recovery, and social services professionals to talk frankly about the opioid crisis.

Sheriff Serier said to the group, "This is a 'we' problem. But there is hope. It's not an easy road. When you have people in your life suffering from addiction, remind them that they are not alone. Work to lift up those around you."

Find statewide data about opioid use, misuse, and overdose death prevention.

Learn about the Ramsey County Coalition's #NotAnotherOverdose campaign.

Supporting Sports in Our Contract Communities

Tom Watson Mustang Invitational Sept 2018

Remember the last time the sun was shining in Minnesota?

We think it might have been back on September 28th, when several RCSO members lent a hand at the 22nd Annual Tom Watson Mustang Invitational Cross County Meet at Chippewa Middle School in North Oaks!

What started many years ago as a humble cross country competition with a few hundred participants and spectators is now a much-anticipated event each year in Ramsey County, drawing several thousand people.

Meeting for Coffee and Conversation

Ramacher at Coffee with a Cop Oct 2018

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Coffee with a Cop in Little Canada in early October.

As you can see by Commander Ramacher's expression, we obviously had some very engrossing conversations with you!

Mark your calendars for our next coffee and conversation get-together on November 13th in Falcon Heights.

Brainstorming with Our Public Safety Partners

Ronal Serpas October 2018 event press conference

In early October, Sheriff Serier joined up with almost 100 local law enforcement leaders to facilitate a forum addressing pitfalls in our criminal justice system that lead to a significant number of persons with mental illness being arrested and incarcerated.

"We can't arrest our way out of this," was a sentiment repeated by nearly every leader in the room, as solutions such as increasing the numbers of beds available to people with chemical dependency issues and mental health issues, rethinking mandatory minimum sentences, seeking legislative funding and pursuing alternatives to arrests were discussed.

See some of the local media coverage of this forum from:

Sun FocusFox 9, and Minnesota Public Radio.

Never Forgetting - Deputy Kenneth Johnson

Deputy Kenneth Johnson EOW

On October 13, 1958, Ramsey County Deputy Kenneth Harvey Johnson was on patrol and attempting to pull a vehicle over for speeding in the area of Island Lake Park. A high-speed chase ensued. Deputy Johnson was fatally injured when his squad car went out of control on a wide curve at North Victoria and Lake Owasso Blvd. in the city of Roseville.

Deputy Johnson had been with the Sheriff's Office for less than one year.

His wife, Luella, and three sons, James, Gerald, and Lawrence survived Deputy Johnson. James and Gerald followed in their father’s footsteps and joined the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. Sergeant James Johnson retired in March 2011 after a 30-year career. Sergeant Gerald Johnson retired in June 2017 after a 28-year career.

The RCSO established the Kenneth H. Johnson Medal of Honor in 1986. For those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, the Medal of Honor is given, in memory and respect, to the deceased Deputy Sheriff’s family.

Delivering an Important PSA to Our Communities

Theft from Auto PSA

Reaching Out for Help on Unsolved Melake Case

Hagos Tsegay Melake was murdered in the early morning hours of Thursday, August 29, 2013.

Shortly after his death, Hagos’ debit card was used in North Minneapolis by the unidentified woman pictured below. She is not a suspect in his death, but she may be a witness.

If you have any information about her identity, please contact the Criminal Investigations Unit at 651-266-7320. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can submit a tip through Crime Stoppers of Minnesota.

Learn more about our unsolved cases.

**Thank you to Clear Channel Outdoor for their generous contribution of billboard space throughout the Twin Cities, featuring our unsolved case, and helping us move toward solving it.**

Melke Billboard graphic

Reaching Out for Help on Unsolved Edberg Case

Nathan Edberg missing poster

It's been almost 20 years, but we won't give up looking for Nathan (Nate) Edberg, who was last seen on April 14, 1999 in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Can you help us?

Do you know something?

Please contact us at 651-266-7320 or call 911 with any information.

Learn more about our unsolved cases.

Ensuring You are Served 24/7

Don't Post Do Call

We always enjoy “meeting” you out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and sharing news and information. There is one thing, though, that we ask you to NOT share with us on our social media platforms – reports of crimes and suspicious activity.

Each week, we receive social media messages and posts from our community members who want to report crimes. Often the posters say they’ve chosen to post instead of call because:

“I don’t want to bother you.”

“I’m not sure of the protocol for calling you.”

“It’s not an emergency.”

Remember that we are here to serve you, help you stay safe, provide you with resources, and respond when you need us. You are not bothering us by requesting our help. Our trained police and fire dispatchers are available to take your calls 24/7 and provide timely and appropriate response.

The takeaway from all of this?

For emergencies, issues that need immediate police response, or to report crimes or suspicious activity, don’t post, DO call.

  • DO call 9-1-1 for emergencies and issues that require immediate police response
  • DO call 651-767-0640 for non-emergencies in Ramsey County



    Fright Farm 2018

    Did you check your weekend calendar for October and realize you've scheduled absolutely no time for fun?

    Time for a schedule change!

    Join us at the Fright Farm - tickets available online!

    WHEN:  Open Friday & Saturday nights in October from 7:00-11:00 pm

    WHERE:  2020 White Bear Avenue N., Maplewood, MN

    *All Fright Farm proceeds benefit the non-profit Ramsey County Sheriff's Foundation.*



    “Helping people with addiction is a community wide issue. No one can overcome it alone. We are asking everyone to help in this commitment to healthier communities.”

    Join the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, and MN Adult and Teen Challenge/Know the Truth on November 1st for this important community event.

    WHEN:  Thursday, November 1st from 6:30-8:30 pm

    WHERE:  Bethel University - Benson Great Hall, 3900 Bethel Drive, Arden HIlls, MN

    Need more details? Contact Sadie Holland at MN Adult and Teen Challenge.

    Know the Truth forum 2018



    Veterans Day Ceremony 2018

    We are fortunate to have a significant segment of our Sheriff's Office members who are military veterans. These members have not only served our country, but they continue to serve the members of our Ramsey County communities each and every day. These men and women embody a "heart of service."

    Please join us in honoring them at a Veterans Day Service:

    WHEN:  Thursday, November 8th from 8:30-9:30 am

    WHERE:  Law Enforcement Center, 425 Grove Street, St. Paul, MN

    Veterans Day is a day to thank and recognize our veterans who have served honorably in our United States armed forces, both in wartime and peacetime.



    Coffee w a Cop November 13 2018

    Join your neighbors and Ramsey County Deputies at the Underground Music Cafe in Falcon Heights for coffee and conversation.

    WHEN:  Tuesday, November 13th from 4:00-5:30 pm

    WHERE:  Underground Music Cafe, 1579 Hamline Avenue N., Falcon Heights, MN

    No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know us and your neighbors a little better.

    Questions? Please contact Deputy Mike Servatka.

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    425 Grove Street - Saint Paul, MN 55101


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