Weather Forecast


Gielau: Prepared, experienced

Paul Gielau

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of Q&As highlighting Goodhue County sheriff candidates. Read about the other candidates here

Paul Gielau

Age: 52

Address: 2362 Pineview Court, Red Wing

Campaign online:

Education: Associate Degree in law enforcement, Alexandria Area Vo-Tech

Family: Wife Dawn (married 18 years) grown stepchildren Mavrick and Danielle Patterson, son Derek who will be a senior at Red Wing High School.

Occupation: I have 33 years of service with the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office and I am the current patrol commander. I have previously held positions as a detention deputy, dispatcher, patrol deputy, patrol supervisor, and investigator.

Community involvement: Past board member of the Red Wing Hockey Association, current member of Goodhue Lions Club.


What are some of your major objectives for the Sheriff's Office?

One of my first objectives will be succession planning as there will be two key command positions to fill. I need to identify new leaders who display the necessary skills to be successful as a chief deputy and patrol commander.

There will also be other promotional opportunities in the future that we need to plan for and allow employees to attend leadership training to help them further their careers.

Other objectives are:

• Continued pursuance of grant opportunities that provide the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office with the technology, personnel, and equipment needed to maintain peace and order while paying down the tax burden to the citizens of Goodhue County.

• Continue seeking to board inmates from other counties.

• Continuing to make sure we are providing our staff the necessary tools to help them with their own mental health after critical incidents. We recently held a critical incident debriefing for our employees that were on duty at the time of a recent tragic vehicle crash.

• I was part of the Goodhue County Adult Drug Court Planning Initiative that attended National Drug Court Training a year ago. I continue to support a treatment court in Goodhue County.

What are the biggest issues facing Goodhue County law enforcement today and how would you manage them?

• Continue effective narcotics enforcement to fight against methamphetamine use and the impact it has on our communities as well as continuing the fight against the growing concern of a statewide heroin epidemic. We can accomplish this through our continued collaboration with our partners in the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crimes Enforcement Team and through the utilization of emerging technology in the field of narcotic enforcement.

• Keeping current with the ever-changing technological advancements coming to our profession so law enforcement within Goodhue County will remain effective in preventing and solving crime in Goodhue County. Staying current with technological advancements will also allow us to more effectively collaborate with other law enforcement agencies within our region of the state and throughout.

• Hiring new employees and retaining current staff is a trend that many law enforcement agencies have had to deal with in recent years. Many sheriff's offices around the state including ours are finding the number of people willing to work inside of detention facilities declining. We are fortunate within our Patrol Division we haven't experienced this as other departments have. One of the ways to manage this is to employ qualified men and women from the area as they tend to stay and have a long career with the Sheriff's Office.

• Mental Health related calls have increased significantly in recent years in Goodhue County and around the State and it has become necessary to have our employees trained to help them when dealing with an individual having a crisis. The Minnesota POST Board recently added Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) as mandatory training for licensed Peace Officers. We had recognized this issue several years ago and have been sending detention employees to this training. I would also like our employees to receive training in the area of de-escalation and minimizing the use of force.

In what ways are you prepared to deal with the tough financial decisions that face the Sheriff's Office today?

I think it is important to note that I have worked by entire 33-year career with the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office and I have worked in virtually every division within our office.

Most recently I have worked within our Administrative Division as the patrol commander. That opportunity has afforded me the ability to help prepare and manage our $13.7 million budget, to prepare capital equipment requests, and to make financial decisions that will affect our bottom line. I have attended numerous county budget sessions over the past four years working with County Administration and the County Board going over what line items may need to be increased or decreased within our budget.