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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.