During his 36-year career in law enforcement, Kittson County Sheriff Kenny Hultgren has been shot at twice and had guns pointed at his face before. He knows this just comes with the territory of the job, leaving much of it at work, but that doesn’t mean these experiences have had no effect on him.
“You don’t ever bury the feelings that go along with that, but you learn how to cope with them and be more aware of the bad that can happen,” Hultgren said. “The way I like to look at it, if they don’t kill you, they educate you so that you’re better for next time.”
He also will never bury the feelings he experienced from the support he received during his battle with a life-threatening blood infection last year, including his wife Darla, his department, and the entire Kittson County community. Since returning to the job last October, he has felt well health-wise, working full-time.
On February 28, Hultgren will complete his last official day of a job that has allowed him the chance to work for a county he cares deeply about. He ends his career not for health reasons, but personal ones. He talked about his career—from the reasons he first entered law enforcement and the parts he’ll miss most about the job to the support he’s received, advice to his successor, and his retirement plans.
For more on this story, see this week’s North Star News!