Beltrami Co. Sheriff Ernie Beitel Celebrates Retirement from Law Enforcement
After 38 years, Sheriff Ernie Beitel is now retired following a long career in law enforcement. A party to celebrate Beitel’s retirement was held at Bemidji’s Law Enforcement Center on Friday.
After announcing his retirement last year, Beitel will step down as Beltrami County Sheriff, but not without looking back on the accomplishments made during the time he served.
Beitel started in law enforcement in 1984 at the Glenwood Police Department. After serving at both Pine River and Cass County, he finally found a place at the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office in 1995. For 27 years, Beitel worked in different positions but kept the same work ethic.
“When I first started here, [Beitel] was kind of like the ‘doer,'” explained Beltrami County Sheriff-Elect Jason Riggs. “He’d be rolling around in the ditches with you when it needed to happen.”
“He was very hands on,” said Beltrami County Chief Deputy Jarrett Walton. “He always was not afraid to get his hands dirty, get in the middle of what was going on and give his advice and leadership.”
Major accomplishments Beitel achieved during his single term as Beltrami County Sheriff includes navigating through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, facing political protests in the area following the murder of George Floyd, and being apart of the starting process for the multi-million dollar jail project.
Now, Beitel will have to learn what life is like without the badge.
“I’m going to, you know, take the first month here and kind of reprogram, know what it’s like to be retired and not working,” said Beitel when asked about his plans. “I just want to thank all the hard working men and women at the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. It’s been an honor, it’s been a privilege, and I’m truly humbled to get to serve with them.”
Riggs, who was elected to be the next Beltrami County Sheriff, will be sworn in on Jan. 3.
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