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Beitel announces campaign for Beltrami County Sheriff

BEMIDJI -- Beltrami County Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel said Wednesday he will run for sheriff in the 2018 election.

Sheriff Phil Hodapp announced Monday he will not be seeking a fourth term.

Beitel has worked as chief dErnie Beiteleputy for more than five years. Beitel began his law enforcement career as a Glenwood, Minn., police officer in 1984. From 1987-89, he worked as a Pine River, Minn,. officer and from 1989-95 he served as a Cass County sheriff’s deputy.

Beitel joined the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office in 1995 and worked as a DARE officer, K9 officer, K9 unit supervisor, patrol sergeant and became chief deputy in 2012.

Beitel told the Pioneer that, if elected, he would like to focus on addressing mental health issues in the community and making the sheriff’s office more efficient.

“One of the biggest areas that I want to deal with is mainly in the area of mental health and the drug crisis,” Beitel said. “That and then, of course, I want to look at continuing to develop efficiencies within the sheriff’s office...those are my main two focus areas.”

For more information about Beitel’s experience, qualifications and campaign, visit Beitel said in a release the website is under construction but will be up and running by the end of the day Wednesday.

“I think I have the knowledge understanding and the skills and the leadership to move the sheriff’s office forward.” Beitel said. “We’ve got a lot of work that we’ve been doing within the sheriff’s office that I want to see continue.”

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or

(218) 333-9796