With the departure of Chief Deputy Blair Anderson, who was recently appointed as the Police Chief for the St. Cloud Police Department, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson has a new right hand man, someone who will be familiar to many county residents.
Jason Kamerud officially took over as chief deputy on Aug. 20. The position is one of many in Kamerud’s long career with the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.
“I began my career with the Carver County Sheriff’s Office in 1990 as a part-time Corrections Officer while I was attending college pursuing a degree in law enforcement,” said Kamerud, who was brought on full-time shortly after graduation.
“I was hired as a Deputy Sheriff in 1994,” said Kamerud, who was assigned to the drug task force as a narcotics investigator and later assigned to the Patrol Services Division.
“In 2000 I was promoted to Sergeant and served as the drug task force commander, patrol sergeant, and administrative sergeant,” he said. “In 2006 I was promoted to Lieutenant and was responsible for management of the Patrol Services Division.”
In 2011, Kamerud was promoted to Commander, where he oversaw the Operations Division, which includes all licensed peace officer operations (patrol, investigations, civil process, etc.). As Chief Deputy, Kamerud oversees the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office and supervises the department’s two Commanders. He is responsible for working with the budget and serves as the public information officer.
Throughout his career at the Sheriff’s Office, Kamerud continued his education and eventually earned a Master’s degree from Concordia University.
“I chose a career in law enforcement for a variety of reasons,” Kamerud said.
“This is a fulfilling career that offers tremendous opportunities for public service through a wide variety of tasks, work environments, and contacts with all walks of life,” he said. “I chose to pursue local law enforcement, as opposed to federal or state agencies, because it allows me to do all of it in my own backyard – it just happened to work out that I was hired in Carver County, where I grew up.”
Kamerud, who lives in New Germany with his wife, Denelle, and their daughter, Jillian, is excited to step into his new role at Sheriff’s Office.
“I’ve been interested in the Chief Deputy position for years and I have been actively taking steps to help me prepare for the responsibilities of the position,” he said.
“This position offers unique challenges and opportunities to enhance the services provided to taxpayers through a variety of short-term and long-term activities,” Kamerud continued. “The short-term activities allow for near-immediate sense of accomplishment, while the long-term activities offer the greatest impact on the organization.
“All of it is centered on helping to make Carver County a great place to live, work and play for a lifetime,” he said.
For Olson, Kamerud proved to be an ideal candidate for the Chief Deputy position.
“I knew Blair was a finalist in St. Cloud in June and that’s when I started thinking about what direction I wanted to go if he got hired,” said Olson, who talked to people both inside and outside of the department about finding Anderson’s replacement.
“I had a rough idea of the direction I wanted to go and I knew what I was looking for,” Olson said. “Jason has distinguished himself in every position he had held in the Sheriff’s Office since he started in 1990. I am very impressed with the job he has done.”
Although only a month has passed since Kamerud stepped into the Chief Deputy role, Olson said the two of them have already built up the indispensable trust that is needed between a Sheriff and his Chief Deputy.
“We have developed a wonderful working relationship and developed a trust,” Olson said. “With the Chief Deputy position, he’s the right hand person who speaks for the Sheriff when I am not around. It’s important that we are on the same page and moving in the same direction together.”
As for Anderson, his tenure as Chief Deputy for the Carver County Sheriff’s Office began on Jan. 31, 2011, not long after Olson took over as Sheriff. His last day was Aug. 17. Olson said Anderson would be missed at the Sheriff’s Office.
“It had always been (Anderson’s) dream to become a chief law enforcement officer and I knew that from the beginning,” Olson noted. “The St. Cloud position is a wonderful opportunity for him and I’m thrilled with the time he spent here.”