My Life Series: Sartell Retired Police Chief Jim Hughes
Sartell will have a new Police Chief for the first time since 2004. That's because Jim Hughes has retired from the position after 32 years in Sartell. Hughes joined me on WJON for another edition of our My Life Series.
Hughes grew up in a small town in southeastern Minnesota called West Concord. He is the youngest of 7 children. His father was an auto mechanic at the local Ford dealership before starting his own repair and towing service. Jim says his dad was also a volunteer for both the police and fire departments. Jim's mother worked for the state hospital in Faribault for 37 years.
Hughes played basketball for many years at West Concord and his senior year he joined the football team. After graduation Hughes chose to attend Rochester Community College and major in computer science. He says after some major life events within his family where he sister was killed in a domestic violence situation he changed his focus from computer science to law enforcement. He graduated from Rochester Community College in 1989 and completed his skills program in Hibbing shortly after that.
While Hughes was going to college he worked in loss prevention at the Rochester Target and he was a Posse member for Dodge County. Posse is what the reserve law enforcement department was called there. After graduation Hughes was hired as the Police Chief of Claremont where he worked part-time at 22 years old. At that same time Jim was also working as a police officer in Kasson, Minnesota.
Hughes was hired in Sartell in 1991 as patrol officer. Promoted to sergeant in 1994, lieutenant in 2000 and chief in 2004, so that includes 19 years as chief and 32 total years in Sartell. He explained he experienced some challenging events while holding the police chief position in the city. He says his experiences early in his career taught him de-escalation which he felt helped in many times in his career. Hughes indicates that he largely enjoyed his time and really liked raising his family and the law enforcement community.
Hughes' time was the Sartell Police Department ended at the end of March. He says he's ready for retirement and has no immediate plans to work even on a part-time basis. Hughes is getting married this summer and will be staying in the Central Minnesota area.