Sartell -- Darrell Gerdes is a retired guard for the St. Cloud Prison, a job he had for more than 30 years.

His late father-in-law, Donald Dahl, was a prison guard for about ten years. It's a job Gerdes' son Aaron currently has.

During his career he witnessed riots, attempted prison breaks and fights between some of the community's toughest criminals. 

He's spent most of his adult life watching over murderers and felons. He says safety is something you need to constantly think about when you're on the job.

Gerdes says in the 1970s and '80s there were a series of race riots that put the prison under complete lockdown. He remembers getting called into work to help control the situations.

During many of the fights that Gerdes has had to break up over the years he can't remember getting seriously injured. He added, his wife Donna tells him he was stabbed with a pencil during an incident once.

During his many years on the job he found routine and consistency help to earn the inmates' respect.

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