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Jackson Completes 30-Year Law Enforcement Career

By Jane Whitmore - | Sep 24, 2020

AFTER 30 YEARS in law enforcement, Palo Alto County Deputy Sheriff Dan Jackson has retired. A reception was held last Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Election Center in Emmetsburg. Family and friends gathered to wish Jackson well and thank him for his years of service. --Jane Whitmore photo

by Jane Whitmore

Dan Jackson of Emmetsburg was honored at a retirement reception last Thursday, Sept. 17. Last call for 74-4 was Tuesday, Sept. 15. Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Jackson retired after 30 years in law enforcement.

Working in law enforcement was Jackson’s chosen career field. “I always wanted to help people,” he said.

After graduating from Emmetsburg High School, Jackson completed the Criminal Justice program at Iowa Lakes Community College. His first job in law enforcement was with the Hartley Police Department, starting in June 1990.

“I always wanted to work in my home county,” said Jackson. He accepted a position with the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Department in March 1994.

Throughout his career in law enforcement, Dan Jackson’s main objective was to help people.

“I’ve had people, through the years, come back and thank me because they had changed their lives,” he said. “I had a couple of people send me messages when I retired, people that I had arrested, wishing me good luck.”

Jackson said, “I tried to treat everybody like I wanted them to treat me. I treated them as human beings and with respect. That’s just kind of the way I went through my career.”

In 30 years, Jackson worked with three Palo Alto County Sheriffs. He was hired by Russ Jergens, and worked with Denny Goeders and, most recently, with Sheriff Lynn Schultes.

“I’ve been together with Lynn for 36 years,” Jackson said. “We went to college together. We went to the Academy together. He started at Emmetsburg Police Department and I started at Hartley Police Department. We got hired on about the same time at the Sheriff’s Office. We tested at the same time and got hired on within a month.”

Jackson related, he and Schultes went from co-workers to boss/employee, and now they are back to just friends.

“It’s all good,” he said.

Deputy Jackson spent years patrolling Palo Alto County – days, nights and weekends.

“Back then (before cell phones), I could go a day or two or even three without getting a call. It was just what you came across or what you found. I could go three days without the office calling me with reference to a complaint that they got,” Jackson recalled. “Now, you’re lucky if you get a few minutes. There’s always something going on. We’re a lot more connected now, compared to 30 years ago. You can even send onto our website if you want to be anonymous. We’re just more connected with getting what the public wants us to know, so we can investigate things we need to investigate.”

Jackson recalled starting his career using pen and paper. There were no computers in the offices. Now, technology has taken a front seat. There are computers in every car and in every office.

In a small department, the Sheriff and his Deputies do it all. All the accidents, the domestics, and the burglaries. There are no different divisions. They take the calls, investigate and file the charges, if necessary.

Dan Jackson retired as Senior Deputy. He also served as Jail Administrator, he served on the MART Team (a tactical response team), he was the head civil deputy, and he investigated the calls.

Read the full article in The Democrat.