Serve and protect
Darold Glander’s first day in law enforcement was spent in what is now known as the Public Health Building in downtown Red Wing.
On Monday, almost 34 years later, the building is slated for demolition – Police Capt. Glander’s first official day of retirement.
Glander, who was born and raised in Red Wing, started with the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked for 14 months and then moved to the Red Wing Police Department.
“It’s a long time with one agency,” Glander said. “It’s been a really good place to work overall.”
In his 30-plus years of law enforcement experience Glander said he’s seen a lot of change.
The west end of town, which is now scattered with developments like the Red Wing Mall, Wal-Mart, Menards and the medical center was just fields and hillsides, he said. But the biggest change in Red Wing has been the development of the Prairie Island Indian Community.
Glander said when he started the tribe operated a simple bingo hall and it was under the Red Wing Police Department jurisdiction, but the tribe has since turned it into a thriving, full-scale gaming business with its own police force.
His first squad car didn’t have an AM/FM radio, reports were typed on manual typewriters and the first dashboard cameras they had in the cars all required VHS tapes.
The advancements in technology have made the job much more efficient, Glander said.
“I look at 30-plus years and where we were, it makes me wonder 30 years from now what’s it’s going to be,” he said.
Glander has also noticed a change in the younger officers joining the police force.
He said when he was coming up through the ranks he always put an emphasis on learning from the experiences of the veteran officers – something he doesn’t see as much of now.
Police officers have different phases in their career, Glander said, and when officers are young they want to stop cars, dig in to cases and make arrests.
“I was no exception,” he said.
One day Glander said he stumbled upon a situation that wasn’t adding up.
A vehicle’s license plate and registration information didn’t seem right and, after a lengthy conversation, the individuals in question divulged to Glander that they were part of a covert drug investigation.
Glander said they essentially told him if he didn’t back off he was going to ruin their investigation, but if he kept his mouth shut the agents promised he would be involved in the arrest.
True to their word, Glander was there when the arrest was made and he said the photo of the arrest hit the news wires and people sent him clippings of the photo from all across the country.
Not all parts of the job end with an arrest and a photo in the paper, however.
“There are certain things that through this line of work you just, you know, will never forget,” he said. “And there’s some things that are so horrific you just want to kind of block it out.”
Glander said he worked throughout his career to maintain a persona outside law enforcement and he has been careful not to let his job define him, which isn’t the case with all officers.
The unique situations law enforcement officers are exposed to can give them the feeling that no one else can understand and that they all need to stick together, Glander said. That isn’t a positive aspect of the job, he added.
Maintaining relationships outside of the office helped him from becoming entirely consumed by his work, Glander said.
“I do police work. That’s my job, not who I am,” he said.
Glander said the opportunity to help the community was a big part of his interest in joining law enforcement.
While he has seen a number of different elements of law enforcement change over the years, Glander said the job still remains rooted in public service.
“If you like people, possess patience and the ability to listen, you’re tailor-made for the job,” he said.
Leaving the job leaves Glander with mixed emotions and he said anticipating how he would feel when the time came has proven elusive.
“I underestimated, really, how difficult it is digesting all the different thoughts and emotions,” Glander said. “It’s a process and it will be a continuing process.”
Glander said he is retiring with no regrets.
“I’ve truly enjoyed the work,” he said.