Dakota Communications Center selects first executive director
Dakota Communications Center chair Elizabeth Kautz and the DCC board
announce that they have selected Kent Therkelsen as the center's
first executive director.
The network is being constructed to link communications among all
Dakota County police, fire and other emergency departments.
Departments across the county will be able to communicate with each
other, and with law enforcement and emergency departments as far away
as the Rochester area.
The idea behind the network is to provide a state-of-the-art
communications system that will improve both response times and
communication between departments in a variety of situations. Crews
recently erected a radio communications tower near Dakota County's
transportation facility near the intersection of Highway 3 and County
Road 46 in neighboring Empire Township. The tower is part of the
county's new 800 mhz radio network. Several similar towers have been
erected or placed atop water towers in towns across Dakota County.
The Dakota County portion of the radio network will be operational by
spring 2007, so a leader is being put in place now.
"As the DCC board and executive committee considered the criterion
for the first leader of our new 911 dispatch center, it became
apparent that Kent was the best person for the job," Kautz said.
"The board and executive committee saw that Kent's extraordinary
background in administration, supervision and leadership matched our
expectations for the position."
Therkelsen has been the chief of police for the city of Eagan since
1999. Prior to his employment with Eagan, Therkelsen served 22 years
with the Bloomington Police Department, beginning as a police
officer, advancing through the department to the position of deputy
chief of police. As the Eagan chief of police, Therkelsen was
instrumental in guiding the department through a major reorganization
and oversaw the rebuilding of the Eagan Police Department dispatch
Therkelsen has been a proven leader in Dakota County. He served on
the Metropolitan Radio Board from 2001 to 2005 and is currently
representing on the Statewide Public Safety Radio Board. He served as
chair of the Dakota County Public Safety Radio Study from 2003 to
2004. Therkelsen is the chair of the Design Work Group for the Dakota
County 800 MHz radio project.
"Therkelsen demonstrates strong problem solving skills, is an
effective communicator, is highly achievement oriented and
demonstrates a strong leadership presence," said Lakeville city
administrator Steven Mielke, chair of the DCC executive committee.
"Therkelsen is well respected in Dakota County by his peers and those
who have worked with him on countywide initiatives" Mielke said.
Therkelsen has a bachelor's degree in public administration from
Metropolitan State University and is enrolled in the master's degree
program in the school of education at the University of St. Thomas.