Police chief announces retirementGary Kalstabakken has served as the head of the Rosemount Police Department since 1998. Lieutenant Jewel Ericson will serve as the interim chief while the city searches for a replacement.
Gary Kalstabakken has served as chief of the Rosemount Police Department since 1998. The job has allowed him to do a lot of different things, and he appreciates that. But after 14 years he feels like it’s time to move on.
“Although I still enjoy the work here, it is time for me to start the next chapter in my professional life.” Kalstabakken said of his reasons for leaving.
Kalstabakken announced his retirement from the department Monday. He leaves behind a legacy that includes increasing the department size, efforts to better communicate with the public and partnerships with other agencies.
The city has grown significantly since Kalstabakken came to Rosemount. That growth allowed him to take on a number of challenges that Kalstabakken said made the job rewarding.
“There have been a lot of changes over the years. I got do a lot different things. It’s been interesting to be part of the city’s growth,” said Kalstabakken.
The department grew from 12 sworn officers to 22 as the population and demand on the services grew. Despite having more people, the rate of reported crime fell in the city.
Kalstabakken wrote Rosemount’s emergency preparedness plan and headed the city’s response to major events such as a mercury contamination incident in 2004. He has worked with other city staff to support a group of community leaders that meets regularly on issues affecting.
Kalstabakken also implemented a number of community education and outreach programs, including Coffee with a Cop, Public Safety in the Parks, Night to Unite and the Rosemount Citizen Police Academy. Through those programs, Kalstabakken said he feels the department has built a strong relationship with Rosemount residents.
“I think we have a good reputation and relationship with the community.”
At times Kalstabakken took on some unusual roles in the city as well. In 2003 he served as the interim executive director of the city’s staff when the position of city administrator opened. He served in the position until Jamie Verbrugge took the helm.
Kalstabakken was chosen to lead the department in January 1998. Prior to being hired, he worked 15 years for the Richfield Police Department. At the time he was hired by Rosemount, he was a lieutenant in the department.
City administrator Dwight Johnson said he thinks Kalstabakken served the community well. Going forward, Johnson said he hopes they can replace him with someone with similar qualities.
“I think Gary’s been an excellent police chief. In times of crisis he’s been unflappable. If we could find another one just like him I would be alright with that,” said Johnson.
Kalstabakken’s last day with the city will be May 31. On June 4, he will start a new position with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. His new role will have him working with the Minnesota Justice Information System.
While he’s excited to start a new endeavor, Kalstabakken said he will miss police work and the officers who served with him.
“While I haven’t been on patrol in a long time, I like knowing what’s going on and watching the puzzle come together. I will miss that,” said Kalstabakken.
In the city’s press release, mayor Bill Droste thanked Kalstabakken for his “exemplary service and dedication to the citizens of Rosemount and to the officers who take the oath to serve and protect our public.”
The Rosemount City Council appointed Lieutenant Jewel Ericson interim chief during a work session May 9. Staff will start searching for a replacement in the coming weeks. The council asked that staff bring back three finalists for consideration. Council member Kim Shoe-Corrigan also suggested the public be allowed to meet the finalists in an open house type setting.