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Published April 13, 2010, 10:17 PM

GF Sheriff Reflects On Career In Law Enforcement

He's been the head of the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department for 20 years, but this year Sheriff Dan Hill will be retiring.

20 years ago Sheriff Dan Hill was first sworn into his position to serve those in Grand Forks County, but his law enforcement experience dates back to 1966 when Hill became a police officer.

Sheriff Hill says, "I had a wife and a child at home and not much money, so I was looking for a job. I walked into city hall, and I think it was Doug Tingen that I ran into, and he said, ‘Can I help you?’ ‘I said I'm just out of the military, and I'm looking for a job.’ He said, “We've got one opening for a police officer. Would you be interested?’"

That day at city hall has turned into a 44 year career for Hill. He's investigated several murders, including a double homicide in 1968 of two women in Grand Forks and the murder of Dru Sjodin in 2003.

Hill says, "The Korynta murder occurred in 1988 on Mother's Day, and that was a case that was really tough because we never did solve it."

These crime scenes and the faces behind them have been the most difficult part of the job for Hill, and they'll be what the long-time sheriff says he'll remember most.

"You just seem to remember the most tragic things that have happened over your lifetime,” says Hill.

As Hill does his final work as Sheriff of Grand Forks County, he says it's the good people he's worked with that he'll miss most.

"They helped me out along the way, and without people like that I probably would have not survived this long in the business, but with good people sitting around you, good things happen,” says Hill.

Sheriff Hill says he's going to take it easy and enjoy his retirement with his wife, but he also adds he'll probably get a part-time job, possibly in the automobile business.