Jeff Wersal looks to become the next sheriff of Blue Earth County

One candidate is Lt. Jeff Wersal who has been the commander of the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force since 2015.
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A retiring sheriff in Blue Earth County means there’s a race for the seat.

One candidate is Lt. Jeff Wersal who has been the commander of the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force since 2015.

“I am not a politician,” Wersal said. “I don’t use catchphrases. I kind of say things how it is I don’t use catchphrases I don’t use metaphors, things like that, and they know that. I speak my mind and I want the deputies to come to me and speak their minds. If there is an issue if they have a problem my door is open and I want to talk through them with it.”

As the commander of the drug task force, Wersal says that he is hoping to hire a peer recovery and support specialist. They’d help on calls of mental health emergencies and drug addiction, someone to join the team to help handle some of the more difficult situations.

“Law enforcement we try and talk to them, but they don’t want to talk to a cop,” Wersal said. “They want to talk to someone who has been through it they want to talk to someone who knows what to say to them and how to listen to them and their concerns and how to get them help right away.”

Wersal also responded to the recent swatting incidents or false reports of threats at school districts in the county. He says officers responded quickly and appropriately. He says that communication is important, and adding training is the key.

“We need to get into the schools and train all of our patrol staff,” Wersal said. “If there is a major incident in the school. We have hired a lot of new deputies since 2016-17 who have not been through the training and in the schools and I think that we need to do that for sure.”

JD: “Are there any changes that you are looking to make to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office as a whole?”

“You know not right off the bat,” Wersal said. “Things do not happen overnight I got to get in there and meet with the supervisors of all the departments and I got to meet with the staff the line staff and I got to ask them what is working and what is not working. And I am going to listen and if something needs to be changed I will work on changing it.”