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New chief is ready to work

New Rosemount police chief Mitchell Scott is excited to start his job. Although he hasn’t been sworn in yet, Scott has been out and about meeting Rosemount residents.

“I’m chomping at the bit,” said Scott.

Scott will be sworn in Aug. 19 at the Rosemount City Council meeting. He will officially start with the department Aug. 20. The Rosemount City Council selected Scott to be the Rosemount Police Chief July 15, after former chief Eric Werner took the same job in Maple Grove. Sgt. Bryan Burkhalter has served as the interim police chief.

Eager to start, Scott attended several Leprechaun Days events and made the rounds at Rosemount’s Night to Unite in an effort to get to know the people of the community. He said establishing early connections will help him transition into his new job.

“I want to get to know the community and let them get to know me. I’ve found when you get to know the public and they know you, the community will support you,” said Scott.

To get to know the department better, Scott has been attending some of the department’s leadership meetings and reaching out to the department’s higher ranking officers to get to know them. Scott said with the transition in leadership there has been a lot of uncertainty and he wanted to reach out and get some of the projects that have been put on hold going.

“They have a great group and I wanted to empower them to do the things they believe need to be done,” said Scott.

In Apple Valley, Scott and the other officers in the leadership worked at making a family atmosphere. He said that family atmosphere helped create high morale and made it a great department to work for.

“When it comes down to it, we are a family,” said Scott.

As Rosemount’s chief, Scott hopes to create a similar family atmosphere. During his first week on the job, Scott will make it a point to meet privately with all the department’s officers. He said meeting one-on-one is important in letting officers know they can come to him and that their concerns and ideas are important.

Another facet of that will be his presence. As chief, Scott will wear a police uniform. While some chiefs prefer business attire, Scott wants the public and his officers to know he is a cop first and foremost.

To continue making community connections, Scott plans to get out and meet some of the city’s business owners. Specifically, because there have been issues in the past, Scott will reach out to the owners of Rosemount liquor establishments.

A veteran, Scott hopes to establish a working relationship with the 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls, who are headquartered in Rosemount.

In the near future, Scott hopes the department can start an Explorer program. Explorer programs offer teenagers the chance to gain experience in law enforcement. He said such programs encourage youth to get involved in law enforcement and provide youth an opportunity to volunteer.

Excited for the challenge of taking on a new position, Scott said he is grateful for the opportunity to put his education and skills to work. Scott has a master of arts degree in organizational management from Concordia University, St. Paul, and additional degrees in business management and law enforcement from Kaplan University in Des Moines, Iowa, and Inver Hills Community College. He also has several certifications from professional programs, including a program for law enforcement executive development conducted by the FBI and a three-month police command course at Northwestern University, according to the city.

Scott has worked for the Apple Valley Police Department for 18 years. He started as a patrol officer and received several promotions. As a captain with the Apple Valley department, he has supervised up to 48 personnel and has management, budgeting and operations experience.

A few years ago, Scott ran for Dakota County Sheriff. He considered running this year but decided against it after he learned chief deputy Tim Leslie was going to run.

“Tim Leslie is a good officer and he has my full support,” said Scott.

While some have pondered whether he took the Rosemount position as a stepping stone, Scott said it is his intention to stay with the department until he retires.

“I want to create a family here and I want it to be my last family,” said Scott.

Scott is married and has two children, a 15-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. Scott said he could not have accomplished all the things he has without the support of his family, especially his wife.

“I really couldn’t have done any of this without her,” said Scott.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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