Hohensee plans to run for sheriff

Staff photo by Fritz Busch New Ulm Police Department (NUPD) Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee said he plans to run for Brown County sheriff this fall.

NEW ULM — New Ulm Police Department (NUPD) Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee said he plans to run for Brown County sheriff this fall.

The candidate filing period for federal, state, county and soil and water conservation districts, and cities or school districts with a primary, is May 22 through June 5.

Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann said he plans to run for sheriff again this year.

“I think Rich is a nice person. He’s very likable,” Hohensee said. “I just think it’s time for a change.”

A Winona area native, Hohensee has been with the NUPD since Jan. 1, 1991. He graduated from Alexandria Technical College in 1990 with a law enforcement degree. Hohensee was promoted to NUPD investigator Jan. 4, 2003; and senior investigator July 4, 2004.

He was a member of the Brown Lyon Redwood (BLR) Drug Task Force unit from 1991 to 2011; the BLR Emergency Response Team from 1994 to 2008 and was BLR emergency response team leader/senior team leader from 2002 to 2008. Hohensee has been a sex trafficking investigation leader since 2014.

“I’m excited,” Hohensee said. “If elected, I want do a county-wide Crime Stoppers program. I’d like to hold monthly meetings with program members… I’d like to give people a voice and a direct communication line to the sheriff’s department… I feel I can bring new leadership.”

Crime Stoppers programs include concerned citizens who want to help their communities fight the war on crime. Each program is independent, operating under its own bylaws and board of directors. The program goal is to assist law enforcement in reducing crime.

In addition, Hohensee said he wants to regenerate TRIAD in Brown County. TRIAD is a group of senior citizens and law enforcement working together to enhance senior safety by networking to support existing groups. Hohensee said the group could help people deal with new online, telephone and mail scams that come up weekly.

Hohensee said he would like to bring back the Drug Take Back program back to Sleepy Eye and Springfield. Last year, the only drop-off point was New Ulm. His plan is to bring drop-offs to the Sleepy Eye and Springfield Police Departments.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with law enforcement departments. It’s been challenging and it allowed me to be proactive,” Hohensee said.

At the NUPD, he supervises all felony and gross misdemeanor cases, plus child protection and sex trafficking cases, in addition to search warrants.

“One of the things I’m proud of is that no one has ever been hurt in our drug and sex trafficking investigations. One of the reasons is due to our planning,” Hohensee said.

In addition, his experience includes working on short and long-term goals, plus grant writing which included a three-year, $275,000 grant for 2009-2011.

“I’m proud of my work with the DTF (drug task force),” Hohensee said.

After his DTF work, he concentrated on general investigation and sex trafficking.

“Our sex trafficking (law enforcement) group in Brown, Nicollet and Blue Earth counties is a role model for rural Minnesota. We teach other counties how to do it,” Hohensee said.

In addition, Hohensee said he believes that with this leadership and experience, he can help the Brown County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) cases-cleared percentage improve. Brown County’s cases-cleared percentage has trailed the NUPD in recent years, according to Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) statistics.

In 2016, the NUPD cleared 74 percent of its cases while the BCSO cleared 27 percent. In 2015, the NUPD cleared 70 percent of its cases while the BCSO cleared 43 percent.

Hohensee said he is an avid sportsman. He said he is active in the South Central Minnesota Investigator’s Coalition and as New Ulm Junior Baseball Association vice president. He belongs to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, the Swan Lake Conservation Club and formerly the Lake Hanska Area Association.

Jeff and his wife Mary have three children. Their daughter, Ellie, 19, is studying nursing at Winona State University. Rachel, 16, attends New Ulm High School. Benjamin, 13, attends New Ulm Middle School. All three children are active in school organizations and clubs.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.