New St. Louis County Deputies Sworn In
DULUTH, Minn. — The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department has a lot of ground to cover, more than 68 hundred miles from Duluth to the Canadian Border.
To cover this massive area the Sheriff’s department has the authority to have 113 sworn deputies on Staff. Eight new deputies joined the force and were sworn in Monday.
Two of the newest deputies are brothers, Ryan and Sean Norland. The brothers are pleased to both be on the force and to have recently recently completed their training after coming on board in July. They are both already working at the sheriff’s Ely office. Ryan, the younger brother says,” It’s rewarding working in the area we grew up and lived in, know the area and people.”
The brother’s father, Eric, was the person who pinned the badges on his son’s uniforms. “It’s kind of concerning because its a tough job, but they love doing this kind of thing, so I’m proud of them.” he said
Sheriff Ross Litman, who is just days away from his retirement after a 30 year law enforcement career, says there just are not as many people interested in becoming deputies. He thought back to when he decided to become a deputy. “I took the St. Louis County Deputy exam in 1992. There were well over 500 applicants taking the written exam. I think this last year when we gave the St. Louis county deputy exam the numbers were less than 100.”
While the number of applicants is much smaller, Litman says the county is still seeing quality applicants. Many of the deputies sworn in Monday have worked with other agencies. But Litman added he would have liked to have seen more minority applicants.
“Well, we’re getting applications, but from an employer position I would like to see more, particularly having a more diverse applicant pool. People of color are under represented as are female deputy sheriff on the low side. ” Litman continued, “That’s something I’ve worked very hard at during my 20 years as sheriff and made really minimal to no success. It’s also a frustration of mine.”
With the addition of the eight deputies today the force is still not quite at full strength. The county plans to post for more deputy sheriff applicants after the first of the year.