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Zumbrota's new police chief settles in

Patrick Callahan

There's a new police chief in Zumbrota, and he's fitting in just fine so far.

Patrick Callahan was sworn in last November and spent two months training with outgoing Chief Gary Selness.

"At first it was quite overwhelming," Callahan said. "Reacquainting myself to a new record systems and additional programs I have not experienced took a lot of time to get used to."

Callahan added that Selness was a great help in understanding how to work with those systems and now he is managing them quite well.

While having a great many resources to tap into should he need help, Callahan also has plenty of experience under his belt. He started his law enforcement career in the Carver County Sheriff's Office, where he spent just less than 15 years. While there, he worked in corrections, courts and patrol, and as a field training officer, a school resource officer, and in investigations.


"Left in 2011 and took role as chief for the city of Hector, which neighbors Bird Island," said Callahan. "And now here in Zumbrota."

Part of the decision to come to Zumbrota was a desire by Callahan and his wife to be nearer family, who live throughout Dakota and Goodhue counties. There were also professional considerations that appealed to him.

"I was seeking an opportunity to apply my education, skills and abilities in another rural community that had more opportunity for growth and development, and to be a mentor for more officers," Callahan said.

Callahan has degrees from Rosemount Senior High School, Normandale Community College, and Concordia University St. Paul, and is now master's degree student at Concordia in Criminal Justice Leadership.

Callahan said he hopes to achieve a few goals that could have great impact by doing simple things. Goals include streamlining record management and evidence intake processes, as well as working with the city closely on the budget to ensure the needs of the department as it relates to the expectations of the community.

"There's been a lot of talk about the schools wanting a police resource officer," Callahan said of just one of a few things he's heard about and is looking at possibly implementing down the road.

For now, Callahan will continue to get settled in and work the day-to-day items that need attention. In doing so, he's already begun creating a relationship with the city and making contacts with both citizens and business leaders.

"I've just been very welcomed," Callahan said.

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