With handshakes and cake, Sheriff Don Lorge and District 2 County Commissioner Tim Wilhelm were recognized by Mille Lacs County for their years of service on Tuesday, Dec. 27. Lorge is retiring after 20 years in law enforcement with the county; Wilhelm was unseated during the November 2022 election after 10 years on the board.
Lorge commented to the board, in good spirits, that they have “had a few battles over the years,” but he has “appreciated everything I’ve seen here.” Lorge has served as sheriff the last four years. Chief Deputy Kyle Burton will took over as sheriff on Jan. 3 after being elected to the position in November 2022..
During the recognition of Wilhelm’s service, he told his fellow commissioners, “There’s a big job ahead of you yet.”
Dan Whitcomb was sworn in as the new commissioner for District 2.
Evenson appointed to chief deputy
Burton informed the board of his decision to appoint Sgt. Aaron Evenson as his chief deputy. He summarized Evenson’s commitment to and career in law enforcement. Evenson has served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshal Service, as well as the sheriff’s offices in Otter Tail and Isanti counties and New York Mills Police before serving with the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office for the past nine years.
Evenson said at the meeting that he’s “never been more excited and scared for a position.” He’s been in law enforcement since graduating from high school, he said, and calls Mille Lacs County his home.
Letter of commendation
On Dec. 8, Sgt. Alex Tokar was given a letter of commendation by Capt. Jason LaStart at the county board meeting. Lorge said the particular call came in Oct. 25, when a 911 hang-up in Princeton was a medical call for a woman in labor. Tokar helped to deliver the baby in a bathtub; both mom and baby were fine after medical attention.
LaStart noted that “few [calls of that nature] have had such a positive outcome.” He added that this story is “an example why … we have taken a road less traveled.”
Tokar said he was “more scared on this [call] than just any other day.”
A. R. V. van Rheenen covers the Mille Lacs County Board.
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