Breckenridge police chief leaving 30-year career
BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. - Breckenridge Police Chief Dennis Milbrandt is retiring his badge after 30 years in law enforcement.
Milbrandt, 55, submitted a letter of resignation to the Breckenridge City Council on Monday evening, and the council accepted it.
The retirement is effective July 31.
In a phone interview Monday, Milbrandt said he had always planned on a 30-year career and is now looking to "wind down" a bit before looking for part-time work.
In accepting Milbrandt's resignation, the council also agreed to transfer the value of his unused sick and vacation time to a special retirement savings plan.
Milbrandt will be able to use money from the account to pay for medical expenses, including insurance.
City Clerk Blaine Hill said Milbrandt had about 180 hours of unused sick time. He said he didn't know how much unused vacation time Milbrandt had, but said he was authorized to accumulate up to 10 weeks.
Hill said the city has agreed to pay Milbrandt's health insurance for five more years.
The city plans to look within the department for a new chief, Hill said.
The department has six full-time officers in addition to the chief's post.
Milbrandt started his career in the early 1970s, working briefly for the U.S. Border Patrol before taking a job as a police officer with the Breckenridge Police Department in 1974.
In 1976, he became an investigator with the department, a job he held until 1994, when he was appointed police chief.
Milbrandt said he'll miss his job.
"I've enjoyed the contacts you develop with 30 years of experience," he said.
Wilkin County Sheriff Tom Matejka, who started as a deputy about the time Milbrandt became a detective, said he and Milbrandt sometimes worked cases together.
"I think he (Milbrandt) was a dedicated police officer," Matejka said. "He has had a lot of felony cases and had some pretty good results," Matejka added.
Wilkin County Attorney Tim Fox said Milbrandt continued to do regular police work after becoming chief.
"He never completely gave up all that," said Fox, adding Milbrandt sometimes took on patrol and investigative duties.
"I always thought it was helpful he (Milbrandt) had a background as an investigator," Fox added.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555