Tom Kaase
Tom Kaase
Tom Kaase, a Rochester Police Department lieutenant and Fillmore County commissioner, announced last week his candidacy for Fillmore County sheriff.

A shift commander with the Rochester Police Department, Kaase has served in the department for the past 18 years as patrolman, community policing officer, investigator, narcotics investigator assigned to the Southeastern Minnesota Drug Task Force, sergeant, and now lieutenant.

Previously, he served with the Fillmore County Sheriff's Department for more than 11 years as a dispatcher/jailer, deputy, investigator, DARE officer and sergeant. While at Fillmore County, he worked for the cities of Preston, Harmony, Mabel and Chatfield as a patrol officer.

A continuous Fillmore County resident for over 50 years, Kaase's public service is not limited to law enforcement. He is a former Preston ambulance member, served on the Kingsland School Board for nine years, and is currently in his second term as a Fillmore County commissioner serving District 1. As a Fillmore County commissioner, Kaase serves as chair of the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Public Safety Committee (representing all 87 counties), on the AMC Futures Committee, on the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Task Force (convened by the Supreme Court justice), on the State Radio Board, on the Regional Radio Board, as chair of the Legislative Committee for the State Radio Board, and on numerous other committees, both law enforcement and non-law enforcement related.

Kaase received his law enforcement degree from Rochester Community College. He has attended the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's (BCA) management series. He has also attended the FBI leadership and supervision training. In his almost 30 years in law enforcement, he has attended a multitude of other trainings and classes.

"I began my career in law enforcement in November of 1984, almost 30 years ago, with Fillmore County as a dispatcher/jailer and would like to come full-circle and complete it by being the next Fillmore County sheriff," Kaase stated as his reason for running for sheriff. "The capacities I have served in at Fillmore County, the Rochester Police Department, as a Kingsland board member and as a Fillmore County commissioner has afforded me the real life training and experience that I believe are unmatched and make me the best candidate for sheriff.

"My leadership philosophies are simple: Professionalism, fairness and customer service," he said. "In all the people I have supervised, I've asked the following: Treat those that you deal with respectfully; and any job or task that you do, do as you would want done for yourself, your family, or your friends."

Kaase pointed out there are many issues Fillmore County will be facing in the future, including the jail's future, communication systems (the 800 radios and the broadband questions that are looming), diversity and crisis intervention training (dealing with people in emotional and mental distress). All of these areas Kaase has already been involved in and he has been instrumental in the decision making process that's already taking place, he said.

Kaase and his wife of almost 30 years, Dorle Grindland Kaase, live in rural Fillmore County. They have a son, Kaine Kaase, who is a third generation police officer.

Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen had previously announced he will not be seeking reelection. Brian Miner has also announced his candidacy for sheriff, which will be on the ballot in the general election this fall.