Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch won't seek reelection

With many changes in law enforcement, Burch wants to allow someone younger to take the reigns.

Tom Burch
Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch

CASS COUNTY — After 35 years with the Cass County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Tom Burch has decided it's time for new blood.

"It's been a great job with good people and fantastic community members and support," Burch said. "Times are really changing in law enforcement and I think it's important that new minds start tackling those issues."

Burch won't seek reelection to a fourth term in November, and he hopes whoever comes after him will be with the county as long as he has been. He said it would be optimal as changes happen that the new person has a longer tenure to help see those changes through.

I'll miss the camaraderie and the people I went through tough times together with and the good times together.
Tom Burch

Burch has served the past 12 years as sheriff and another 10 before that as chief deputy. He will retire at the end of his elected term, which is at the end of this year.

"The whole career I've been pretty fortunate," Burch said. "The staff we have are very committed professionals. That made the job 10 times easier. We've seen some negative things, some unfortunate things that families and victims have dealt with, but when you do something on the positive note with the support of the community it makes it all tolerable. You can keep moving forward."


Burch is confident that the community will be in good hands with the experienced law enforcement that have been serving the county alongside him.

He plans to take retirement as it comes.

"My political career is over," Burch said. "I never envisioned doing it in the first place. I have no real set plans. I'm going to be doing a little hunting, fishing, traveling and enjoying time with family and friends. It'll be a little awkward because I won't be working 24 hours a day, so that's going to be a huge adjustment. I'm looking forward to getting to it."

Burch is grateful to the community and people's years of support.

"The community is so supportive," Burch said. "The press has been great to us. We were always straightforward with each other and that made the job so much easier. I'll miss the camaraderie and the people I went through tough times together with and the good times together."

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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