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Leslie announces run for sheriff's job

Dakota County Chief Deputy Sheriff Tim Leslie announced last week that he will seek the office of Dakota County Sheriff. Current Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows announced Feb. 11 that he would not seek another term.

“When my mentor, Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows, announced he would not seek another term, I started contemplating what Dakota County needs in its next sheriff; a proven leader, someone with extensive experience, a personal connection with Dakota County, and someone who will relentlessly safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said Leslie. “I thought about my own law enforcement career, serving as sheriff Bellows’ chief deputy, my years as an assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and my 20-plus years with the St. Paul Police Department.”

As chief deputy in Dakota County, Leslie oversees many of the day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office and works closely with law enforcement agencies throughout Dakota County.

Sheriff Bellows called Leslie “instrumental in the operation and strategic planning” in the sheriff’s office.

“Tim Leslie is well respected in the law enforcement community and his experience and leadership has been invaluable to me and the citizens of Dakota County,” Bellows said.

Leslie’s law enforcement career spans more than 30 years. He has worked in and with state and federal agencies and served as an assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety where he led and managed the divisions of the BCA, State Patrol, State Fire Marshall and Homeland Security and Emergency Management, among others. Leslie spent more than 20 years with the St. Paul Police Department. He worked his way from patrol and street crimes to SWAT commander and senior commander of the Eastern District. He handled multiple assignments including communications, K-9, narcotics and vice.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Tim Leslie since he became our county’s chief deputy sheriff in 2010 and I can tell you that he has the experience and skills needed to be the next Dakota County Sheriff,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. “He is an outstanding leader and manager who is highly respected by his law enforcement colleagues throughout Minnesota. Tim Leslie cares deeply about protecting public safety and he will be an excellent sheriff.”

“My wife, Julie and I have called Dakota County home for almost 30 years. We raised our kids here and go to church here,” Leslie said in his announcement. “I served on the school board in ISD No. 197 and coached a number of my kids’ sports teams.

“When I considered where I have been and all the remarkable things we’ve accomplished the past almost four years, and what all we have yet to do, I realized I was ready to meet this challenge and be the next Dakota County Sheriff,” he said.