The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is the sheriff's office for Hennepin County in the state of Minnesota, United States. HCSO serves one million residents and is located downtown in the city of Minneapolis, the county seat. The office manages the county jail, patrols waterways, provides security for the District Court, handles home foreclosures, participates in homeland security activities and in law enforcement.[1][2][3]


The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Administration manages the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, and is located in Minneapolis City Hall. The administrative staff includes Sheriff Rich Stanek, Chief Deputy Mike Carlson, Enforcement Services Bureau Inspector Jeff Storms, Investigations Bureau Inspector Kenneth Schilling, Detention/Court Services Bureau Inspector Chester Cooper, Public Information Officer/Spokesperson and the clerical support staff. [4]

The hierarchy for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is simple, the Unit reports to the Division, which reports to the Inspector of the Bureau, reporting to the Chief Deputy, who reports directly to the Sheriff. While there are some divisions or staff that do not line up with the hierarchy, every group will at some point report up to the Chief Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office.

Internal Affairs Unit

The Internal Affairs unit reports directly to the Chief Deputy and is responsible for carrying out internal investigations on complaints. They ensure the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is operating at the highest level of integrity and standards.

Finance Division

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Finance Division provides accounting support and reporting for all Sheriff's Office financial activities. The Finance Division develops and manages the Annual Budget and Capital Improvement Plan. The Finance Division serves Hennepin County residents with foreclosure sales, redemptions and executions, civil service of process billing, trust accounting and transfers.

Administrative Services Bureau

The Administrative Services Bureau oversees operations within the Professional Standards Division. The Professional Standards Division consists of the Personnel Unit, Employee Development Unit, and Information Technology Unit.

Professional Standards Division

Personnel Unit

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Personnel Unit is responsible for staffing the Sheriff's Office. The Personnel Unit includes the Background Section that conducts intensive background investigations scrutinizing the criminal, prior work performance and credit histories of each applicant to ensure they meet the high standards of employment maintained by the Sheriff’s Office. The Personnel Unit provides numerous additional services to our employees and the public including posting promotional opportunities, performing policy reviews, processing payroll and benefits, managing workers compensation claims and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requests, processing applications for concealed weapons permits and offering fingerprinting services.

Employee Development Unit

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Employee Development Unit ensures that members of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office provides training that will enhance and support the skills, knowledge and competence of the members of the Sheriff’s Office and the criminal justice community at large. The Employee Development Unit also researches and plans strategies that keep the Sheriff's Office in the forefront of advancing law enforcement practices.

Information Technology Unit

The Information Technology Unit is responsible for all information technology including software, hardware infrastructure and data systems for the Sheriff's Office. It supports over 50 programs and kinds of equipment the Sheriff’s Office uses to function.

Investigations Bureau

The Investigations Bureau is in charge of the Investigative Division, Detective Unit, Narcotics Unit, Crime Lab Unit and Violent Offender Task Force Unit.

Investigative Division

Narcotics Unit

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit is one of the most successful drug enforcement units in the state. The Narcotics Unit works in partnership with several task forces including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force, the Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force (Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka), the West Metro Drug Task Force (Medina, Mound, Orono, West Hennepin Public Safety), the Minneapolis/Hennepin Drug Task Force, the Northwest Metro Drug Task Force (Crystal, Golden Valley, Hopkins, New Hope, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, St. Louis Park) and the Metro Gang Strike Force. The Narcotics Unit, based in downtown Minneapolis, targets mid-to high level drug dealers and organizations.

Detectives Unit

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Detective Unit works its own cases and in cooperation with several other law enforcement agencies. Detectives from the Sheriff's Office are assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force, the Gang Prosecution Team of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Violent Offender Task Force Unit

VOTF was created in February 2007 to help address the problem of violent crime/offenders in Hennepin County.

Crime Lab Unit

Mission Statement To assist in the investigation of crimes by providing technical crime scene processing in order to identify, collect and preserve evidence, while maintaining integrity at all times; and to conduct scientific analysis of evidence, in a timely and proficient manner, for all law enforcement agencies requesting our services.

Accreditation The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab Unit is one of two accredited crime labs in the State of Minnesota. The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) accredited the Crime Laboratory Unit in 2004 for the forensic services it provides in the criminal justice system. ASCLD/LAB also certified the unit in three of the major forensic science disciplines of analysis: latent fingerprints, DNA/biology and crime scene processing. The unit's Crime Scene Section was the first team of crime scene investigators in Minnesota to earn ASCLD/LAB certification.

Detention/Court Services Bureau

The Detention/Court Services Bureau encompasses the Adult Detention Division and the Court Services Division, including the Civil and Court security Units.

Adult Detention Division

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office operates the largest pre-trial detention facility in the State of Minnesota. The Adult Detention Division manages the Hennepin County Jail, located in the Public Safety Facility, downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office booked more than 41,500 inmates in 2006.

Court Services Division

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office provides security to the courts, judges, and staff of the courtroom. They also carry out the needs of the courts. The Court Services Division includes Court security and Civil.

Court Security Unit

The Court Security Unit provides security to all of Hennepin County's Fourth Judicial District. The Unit is also responsible for the security and safekeeping of all in-custody defendants making court appearances.

Civil Unit

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Civil Unit represents both the executive and judicial branches of government. The Civil Unit is responsible for the service of process and post-judgement execution procedures.

Enforcement Services Bureau

The Enforcement Services Bureau is made up of the Communications Division; Special Operations Division which encompasses the Weapons of Mass Destruction Tactical Team, Homeland Security Unit and Emergency Services Unit and the Patrol Division, which includes the Patrol Unit, Water Patrol Unit and Warrant Unit. There are also three units made up of special deputies: MARC, E-Squad and Mounted Patrol. These special deputies are volunteers.

Communications Division

The Communications Division is the law enforcement communications link for Hennepin County's communities and the 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point. Mobile Amateur Radio Corps (MARC) is an all volunteer unit that is responsible for providing supplemental mobile communications at special events and major emergencies.

Special Operations Division

This division is composed of the Homeland Security Unit, the Emergency Services Unit "SWAT" team and the multi-jurisdictional WMD Tactical team.

Homeland Security Unit

The Homeland Security Unit coordinates a number of initiatives involving multiple local agencies and partnerships with Emergency Medical Services "EMS" and the local and State Departments of Health. The Homeland Security Unit also manages a threat and vulnerability assessment team that develops emergency response plans for various sites in Hennepin County. Homeland Security Unit personnel also work as active members of many public and private homeland security working groups, and conduct training sessions for the community, Sheriff's Office personnel and local governmental agencies.

Emergency Services Unit

The Emergency Services Unit, or ESU, is a highly-trained tactical response team drawn from all divisions and units of the Sheriff's Office. It consists of eight crisis negotiators and 34 licensed personnel with sophisticated tactical training complete the unit. Together, they are prepared to react to incidents requiring special weaponry and quick, highly-choreographed maneuvers.

Patrol Division

The Patrol Division oversees the Patrol Unit, Warrant Unit, and Water Patrol Unit. Two of the special deputy units are under the Patrol Division (Emergency Squad, or E-Squad, and the Mounted Patrol). The Emergency Squad consists of special deputies (volunteers). The Emergency Squad responds to emergency calls (accidents, medicals) and supports special events with highly-trained personnel. Contained within the Emergency Squad is the Underwater Recovery Team (URT), a group of specialists in underwater rescue and recovery. Many of the special deputies were heavily involved in the recovery efforts at the 35W bridge collapse.

The Mounted Patrol is a group of volunteers that have a love of horses and a need to serve the community. These special deputies offer horse patrols for numerous events, like the Hennepin County Fair.

Patrol Unit

The Patrol Unit is the primary law enforcement service provider to 6 communities and 2 county facilities:

  • Fort Snelling
  • Greenfield
  • Hanover
  • Hassan Township
  • Medicine Lake
  • Rockford
  • County Home School
  • Hennepin County Workhouse

The Patrol Unit also provides supplemental patrol coverage to a number of smaller police agencies in northwestern Hennepin County as well as specialized patrol service and assistance to all Hennepin County law enforcement agencies.

Water Patrol Unit

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol Unit is responsible for all water-related incidents within the county. The unit fulfills the statutory duties of the Sheriff's Office on waterways and actively patrols the 104 lakes and three rivers in the county. The unit also has jurisdiction and responsibility for other bodies of water including: hottubs, public and private pools, ponds, streams, etc. The unit also provides specialty services such as ice rescue, swift water rescue, under-water recovery and airborne rescue. The unit has many specialized pieces of equipment including watercraft, snowmobiles, side scan and stationary sonar, ATV and cold water emersion suites. [5].

Warrant Unit

The Warrant Unit issues warrants, serving bench warrants and transporting prisoners. Warrant deputies often confront sensitive and volatile situations. To deal more effectively with these assignments, deputies completed mental health crisis and intervention training and community vulnerability assessment methodology.

Transport Unit

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Transport Unit transports people under the Sheriff's jurisdiction. This includes prisoners in pre-trial detention, post-conviction on the way to a correctional facility and those under the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Division of the District Court.


  1. What We Do. Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. Retrieved on 2007-09-04.
  2. Hughes, Art (2004-09-29). Government Center shooting brought security changes. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved on 2007-09-04.
  3. Mador, Jessica (2007-04-13). Hennepin County foreclosures on pace to double. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved on 2007-09-04.
  4. Hennepin County Sheriff's Office - HCSO
  5. Welcome

Contact Information

350 South 5th Street
Room 6
MN 55415
Phone: (612) 348-3744

See also

List of law enforcement agencies in Minnesota

External links

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