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Mike Carlson

Mike is a 31-year veteran of Law Enforcement. He began his career in 1987, working on a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) led Narcotics Task Force. In 1988, Mike began working for the Minneapolis Police Department. During his 19-year career with Minneapolis, Mike was Commander of the Homicide Unit, the Narcotics Unit, as well as the Organized Crime Unit.


In 2007 Mike went to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) where he served as Chief Deputy, the highest-ranking appointed law enforcement officer. Hennepin County is Minnesota’s largest county by population, with over 1.25 million residents.


As Chief Deputy, Mike led the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office to include managing 820 personnel and a budget of $110 million. Mike served as Incident Commander during; the 35W Bridge collapse in 2007, the 2008 Republican National Convention, and Super Bowl 52, as well as overseeing the Hennepin County Crime Lab as it received International Accreditation. Highly experienced in matters involving employee related investigations, Mike oversaw the HCSO Internal Affairs Unit. On average he oversaw approximately thirty (30) internal affairs investigations per year or the equivalent of approximately 300 cases during his leadership tenure.


Additionally, during his tenure in the Sheriff’s Office, Mike created and implemented the Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF) which conducted proactive focused investigations on the County’s most violent offenders. Also, Mike spearheaded the creation of the Criminal Information Sharing and Analysis Unit (CISA) which provided predictive policing services and criminal analysis to law enforcement agencies throughout the region.


Mike has high-level skills in areas such as interagency collaborations, management of capital projects, personnel management and staffing, policy development, intergovernmental relations, critical incident management, crisis communication, and the development of investigative protocols and supervision. 


Mike has received numerous awards throughout his career to include; the “Hennepin County Leadership Award” for his work with the families of homicide victims, as well as other awards for acts of courage and bravery.

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