homepage logo

He’s on patrol in city of Winnebago

By Staff | May 25, 2014

Interviews are done, background checks complete and technicalities have been covered.

After months of searching, Winnebago has officially filled the open chief of police position.

Eric Olson was interviewed for the job around a month ago and had finally started work last Monday.

“There’s a lot to learn but it’s going well so far,”?Olson says.

Olson has been in law enforcement for nearly 13 years so he admits he’s ready for most things, but moving to a new community will take some getting use to.

“They have a completely different CAD (computer assisted dispatch)?system and the report writing is also very different,”?he says. “So I am working on relearning how to do some of those types of things since I’ve started.”

Olson has also been spending plenty of time away from the desk, as well.

In the afternoons he has spent time with the other officers, riding along and learning the ropes.

“I have also been going out and introducing myself to people at the businesses in town,”?Olson says.

He came down to Winnebago last week and his family will be joining him once school is over.

Olson is married and has four children; daughter Kenna is 17, son Joe is 12, son Hunter is five and daughter Hayden is three.

“My wife, Jamie, just graduated from RN school which is one of the reasons we moved down here,” Olson says.

His wife will be looking into nursing jobs in the area when she moves here.

Olson and his family were living up north where he worked with the Brenning police department. It is an area where many people enjoy outdoor activities like hunting and fishing.

“I like to fish and hunt but hunting more so,”?Olson says. “There’s a lot of camaraderie when you hunt and are at the shack with your friends.”

When asked what other things he enjoys doing, he replied with a smile, “well, I stay pretty busy with four kids.”

Olson grew up in Cloquet where his father was sergeant for the Cloquet Police Department one of the inspirations for him to pursue law enforcement, as well.

“Growing up in a law enforcement family, there was nothing else I wanted to do,”?Olson says. “I?had no ambition to do anything else but this.”

He attended Hibbing Community College for his degree in law enforcement and is currently finishing up his four-year degree.

“I?hope to have my bachelor’s degree by spring of 2015,” he says.

And, after 13 years in the field and almost completing his bachelor’s degree, his love for his career hasn’t faded.

“It was always about helping people,” Olson says. “It’s always a good feeling when you can help somebody.”

As far as his new role as Winnebago chief of police, he is enjoying his first few days on the job.

“It will take a lot of learning, but it’s going real well so far,”?he says.

Former police chief Bob Toland submitted his original resignation last October, which was effective as of Nov. 30, 2013.

The city had hired officer Mike Beletti from within to fill the position of chief. However, Beletti took a position with a different law enforcement agency and resigned, working his last day with the Winnebago department on Jan. 3.

The city had 27 applicants which were narrowed down and Olson was the only applicant brought back for both rounds of interviews.

He was offered the job, pending the completion of background checks, after his second interview on April 11 and officially started last Monday, May 19.