by Dennis Dalman
The City of Sartell announced the name of its new police chief on March 2 – Brandon Silgjord, who is currently supervising deputy for the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department in northwest Minnesota.
The other applicant among the two finalists was Brent Bukowski, a long-time employees of the Sauk Rapids Police Department.
Current Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes will retire on March 31 after serving on the department for 32 years.
Originally, in February, nine applicants applied for the job. None of those who applied were Sartell residents or members of the Sartell Police Department.
The two finalists were selected after a lengthy interview process of all applicants.
Silgjord will be formally hired and take office in Sartell after completion of a comprehensive background check and a psychological evaluation.
Sartell Mayor Ryan Fitzthum praised Silgjord on his skills when he was announced as the new chief.
“I am excited about Brandon’s experience in community engagement, predicted policing and proactive advancements within law enforcement,” Fitzthum said. “As a strategic leader, he will support our anticipated growth within our community. Please join us in welcoming Brandon, his wife and his two young children to our community. We look forward to providing opportunities to introduce him to you in the coming months.”
Brandon Silgjord started his career in law enforcement in 2006 with the Pequot Lakes Police Department and Morrison County Sheriff’s Office.
Since 2009, he has worked for the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, in northeast Minnesota. He spent his first six years in the Duluth Patrol Division as a deputy sheriff, serving in a number of roles, including K-9 (dog assistant) handler and operator of the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) as a field-training officer.
Silgjord was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2015 out of the Duluth District of Operations. He continued handling a dual-purpose German shepherd (a K-9 named Kilo) through 2018. While holding the rank of sergeant, he completed assignments as a field training officer supervisor, SWAT sniper, academy lead patrol-tactics instructor and did oversight of St. Louis County’s Water Patrol grants and enforcement efforts.
In 2020, he was promoted to the role of supervising deputy commander, overseeing law-enforcement operations in the Hibbing District of St. Louis County. In 2021, he transferred to Duluth and took command of 911 communications and emergency management operations for the sheriff’s office where he is still assigned at this time.
Silgjord earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Central Lakes College and a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Metropolitan State University, where he graduated with highest honors (summa cum laude). He is also a 2019 graduate of the National Command and Staff College, earning a leadership award for command and staff leadership, Class 2003.