‘It Was Bittersweet’ Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn Retires, Explains Reason in Heartfelt Interview
The Rice County Board of Commissioners this morning unanimously accepted the retirement of Sheriff Troy Dunn. His last day on the job will be November 12, 2021.
Dunn had submitted a letter dated September 3, 2021 to the Board of Commissioners, County Administrator, and Human Resources Manager announcing his retirement.
Dunn started with the Rice County Sheriff's Office in 1988 and told Commissioners after 33 1/2 years in public safety it's time to spend more time with his wife and her new job in Arizona.
Commissioner Galen Malecha made the motion. Commissioner Dave Miller seconded to accept the retirement letter.
Commissioners told Dunn they would sincerely miss him and added Rice County citizens would also miss his compassionate service.
Commissioner Jeff Docken told the outgoing Sheriff he was very good at the job. Those thoughts were echoed by Commissioner Malecha.
Malecha added hopes that a going away party would be held for Dunn.
I started at KDHL a year before Dunn began working with the Sheriff's Office and did speak with Troy this morning about his decision to leave office a year before his term is scheduled to expire. Listen to my interview with Troy below.
You can read the automatically generated transcript of the interview below:
Troy Dunn (00:00): Was bittersweet when I drafted that letter for the commissioners. And, um, and for my staff, because I feel blessed, I've been able to serve a majority of my, um, career in public safety and law enforcement here in my hometown and in my home county here in rice county.
Gordy Kosfeld (00:20): Yeah. But I understand that you and the wife are heading west, go west young man, go west.
Troy Dunn (00:25): Yep. We're we're gonna, we're gonna leave the great state of Minnesota to warmer climate and, um, settle into our next phase. My, obviously my wife will continue to work and, and, um, so I'll be closer to her and will be in warmer place that, uh, is I think a little, obviously a little more tolerable, um, you know, than the winter month be here in Minnesota. And, um, so I, uh, it's something that we've talked about for many years and, and, uh, we didn't necessarily expect it to happen this year, but, um, with job changes for her, it made the most sense. And we did not obviously wanna live apart. Um, so I'm gonna hang it up a year early and, and, uh, go south and, uh, hopefully, um, you know, start the next chapter in my life, whatever that may be, whether it means more golf or, um, you know, I'll, I'm sure I'll do something part-time once, uh, once we get settled in. And, but, um, and obviously we'll be back here because this is our home for both of us and we still have family and friends here. So, um, when the mosquitoes come back out in the summertime, probably back, be back here for a little bit visiting and, and, uh, seeing some of the great times of, uh, Minnesota here. So
Gordy Kosfeld (01:53): Well, you got to work with a lot of good people over the years, right there at the Sheriff's office.
Troy Dunn (01:58): Oh my goodness. You know, not only in the Sheriff's office but yeah, I, I, you I'd be remiss if I didn't say Gordy that the, the Sheriff's office is what it is because of the people that work there. And I'm blessed to have great staff and, um, been able to hire many people work with many people over the years that are now retired and we've lost some very good friends over the years, um, you know, too early. And, and, um, so it's, you know, I can't say enough of the working with everybody within the Sheriff's office and within rice county and with everybody throughout, um, the county and the state, you know, the different fire departments, whether they're volunteer or full time. And the ambulance services, rice county is a, a special place. And they've, you know, people should be very, very appreciative of what, what we have here and the relationships of how everybody works together. And because it's not that way across the whole United States, it's not that way in some other parts of Minnesota. And so to be able to work with, um, so many people in public safety and then be able to collaborate with different groups that, that I've been able to do such as the hope center and, uh, healthy communities initiative and, and safe roads, and tzd different groups, and we're all working for a common goal and that's to make rice county and our state and our nation a safer place to live, to work. And to be,
Gordy Kosfeld (03:32): I'm guessing that's what you're gonna miss the most. Right. Are the people,
Troy Dunn (03:35): The people absolutely. The people.
Gordy Kosfeld (03:39): Yep. Not just people you work with, but just people in the county, right?
Troy Dunn (03:44): Yeah. No, it's, it's so it's so, um, it's just, I, I can't put it in words, Gordy that, you know, to be able to walk at different events or walk within the communities, you know, we had defeat of Jesse J days last weekend, the weekend before the rice county steam and gas engine, the rice county fair all of those things and be able to talk to people, um, in a positive way when they don't necessarily need to call 9 1 1 for, for law enforcement or for EMS or for fire. Um, and to be able to have those connections. So then when something does happen, hopefully, it makes it just a little bit easier, a little smoother, um, to go through something like that and to build those connections and say, Hey, I know somebody I can call to help you with this. And, um, yeah. So definitely the people I'm gonna miss 'em all.
Gordy Kosfeld (04:41): So it sounds like after over three decades in law enforcement and you know, your family probably missing birthday parties and some special events, maybe a wedding anniversary or something you're gonna go, and it's, it's the wife's turn to get you, right? Yeah.
Troy Dunn (05:00): My wife, my life's been commenting to friends and people that have asked us about this in the last few days. Um, she goes, I'm gaining a househusband. I'm gonna have somebody there to clean and to cook for me. <laugh> and I don't have to worry about Kim being late -- a crash happened or whatever it may be. And, um, <affirmative>, you know, she she's been so understanding as well as my son growing up. Who's now, you know, in, in his next phase of medical school, but yeah. To have to leave, um, Christmas or Thanksgiving or be late, or get called out to, uh, an event or an incident because of that, and, um, it'll be nice to be, yep. I'm gonna be here for Christmas this year. I'm not gonna have to leave it. You know, I think there's something that's gonna feel different about that, and it's gonna be different to not be attached to that cell phone and that pager and that radio 24 7, um, it'll be an adjustment I'm sure. And I'm gonna miss, I'm gonna miss being out there helping.
Gordy Kosfeld (06:08): Yeah. Well, Troy, it's been awesome.
Troy Dunn (06:11): Thanks, Gordy.
Gordy Kosfeld (06:13): I've enjoyed visiting with you over the years and we're gonna miss you.
Troy Dunn (06:17): Well, thank you. And I hope to visit a few more times before I head south.
Gordy Kosfeld (06:21): Yeah, well maybe you'll have to come on AM Minnesota
Troy Dunn (06:24): <laugh> absolutely. I'd be happy too.
Gordy Kosfeld (06:27): Maybe one last time, huh?
Troy Dunn (06:29): Yeah. Yeah. <laugh>, you know, I, I just, I'll never get on there as much as our good friend, uh, Dustin, deans, but, uh, you know, he, he did a great job and he always does. And he's another key person that I'll miss along with, uh, Andy Bolin and Mark Elliott and all of our other friends and, and, uh, cohorts here in public safety. But I, I, I have to say thank you to everyone.
The Sheriff has been part of a band in recent years so this might be interesting.