South Lake Police and sheriff welcome new special deputies and reserve officers

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, far left, South Lake Minnetonka Police Chief Mike Meehan and Officer Dennis Hansen, far right,  congratulate graduates Travis Nordhus and Thomas Eckhoff, middle. (Sun Sailor photos by Paige Kieffer)
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, far left, South Lake Minnetonka Police Chief Mike Meehan and Officer Dennis Hansen, far right, congratulate graduates Travis Nordhus and Thomas Eckhoff, middle. (Sun Sailor photo by Paige Kieffer)

A new group of Hennepin County Sheriff’s special deputies and police reserve officers, including Travis Nordhus and Thomas Eckhoff from South Lake Minnetonka Police Department, were recognized on Nov. 19 during their graduation ceremony at the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility.

The other 13 volunteers who were sworn in will also serve in Hennepin County, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Edina and Saint Anthony.

These law enforcement volunteers completed 40 hours of training conducted by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in a variety of areas, including traffic direction, crime scene response and radio communications.

“Special deputies and reserve officers selflessly give thousands of hours of service to their local police agencies or the sheriff’s office each year,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “They lead by example and are a crucial part of keeping their communities safe.”

South Lake Minnetonka Police Department has been looking to expand its reserves and recently recruited Nordhus and Eckhoff.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek spoke at the Nov. 19 graduation ceremony for 15 reserve officers and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office special deputies at the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek spoke at the Nov. 19 graduation ceremony for 15 reserve officers and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office special deputies at the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility.

With the new recruits, the South Lake reserves are now at 12 officers and each of them are required to work a minimum of 10 hours a week.

“We had a lot of good candidates that applied here in the last year and many have a lot of qualifications including military and police experience, and many have associates and bachelors degrees,” said South Lake Minnetonka Reserve Unit Coordinator Officer Dennis Hansen.

“The new reserves are good people,” said South Lake Minnetonka Chief Mike Meehan. “They donate their time. They serve their community, and they don’t get paid a nickel.”

Nordhus and Eckhoff spent several weeks training at the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility, where the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Officer School began in 1971.

“The training has been a lot of fun,” Eckhoff said. “I’ve met a lot of wonderful people from a lot of different departments. I joined South Lake to get my foot in the door because my goal is to become a full-time officer, and I liked the department and wanted to gain more experience there.”

Nordhus, who is also going to college full-time in Rochester for law enforcement, said, “I joined South Lake to learn some on-the-job training. I want to be an officer and give back to my community. I have been fortunate to live in a safe area, and I wanted to bring that to other communities and help out in anyway I can.”

Contact Paige Kieffer at paige.kieffer@ecm-inc.com

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek swears in special deputies, left to right,  Joseph Bohmbach, Isaac Scott, Jennifer Mahr, Herbert Perry, Jezebel Ristow and Txheng Vang at their Nov. 19 graduation ceremony. (Sun Sailor photo by Paige Kieffer)
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek swears in special deputies, left to right, Joseph Bohmbach, Isaac Scott, Jennifer Mahr, Herbert Perry, Jezebel Ristow and Txheng Vang at their Nov. 19 graduation ceremony. (Sun Sailor photo by Paige Kieffer)