Sorenson named new State Patrol lieutenant
LUVERNE — Cpl. Matthew Sorenson has been selected as the new lieutenant for the Minnesota State Patrol District 2300, which serves 13 counties in southwest Minnesota and is based in Marshall.
A Luverne native, Sorenson began his career with the Minnesota State Patrol in 1990. Since then, Sorenson has served as a road trooper, drug recognition expert and instructor, accident reconstructionist, field training officer, standard field sobriety testing (SFST) instructor and mobile field force member. His appointment came earlier this month.
“My uncle was the chief of police, and that sort of sparked my interest in law enforcement,” Sorenson said. “Later on, an opportunity came to apply for this position as lieutenant, and I went for it. I’ve primarily been on the road for 23 years in Rock and Nobles counties, and I would have continued had I not been offered this position.”
Sorenson described his new role with the State Patrol and how he hopes he can still patrol roads some of the time.
“Now I’ll supervise the road troopers and take care of the fleet,” Sorenson said. “I’ll also take care of any issues that are beyond routine maintenance, answer questions to the public about troopers and, hopefully, every once in a while get back out there on the road.”
Prior to joining the Minnesota State Patrol, Sorenson served as a deputy with the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Department, a police officer with the Brandon and Garretson, S.D., police departments and as park ranger with South Dakota Game Fish and Parks.
Sorenson said he wasn’t ready to retire, but commented on the recent Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) changes that have led to a string of retirements in law enforcement.
“Statewide, we’re looking at over 70 people that are eligible for retirement, and half are expected to retire early,” Sorenson explained. “However, legislation will help hire again next year; 48 troopers are expected to be hired on next winter to make up for the loss.”
Sorenson, who lives in rural Rock County, has an associate degree in law enforcement from Alexandria Technical College. He grew up in Rock County and graduated from Jasper High School in 1986.
“I’m from rural Rock County, and I plan to stay here,” he said. “Even though my offices are based in Marshall, my job allows me to stay here.
“Technology is amazing. I can do most of my work through email and phone calls, so I can take care of everyday business without going into the office,” he added.
A ceremony was hosted for Sorenson earlier this month at the Department of Public Safety Office in downtown St. Paul. Attending Sorenson’s promotion ceremony was his fiance, Lori Ehde of Luverne, and his parents, Arden and Mary Ellen Sorenson of Jasper.
“It’s an honor to be promoted to lieutenant, and I appreciate the trust they have in me to do this job,” Sorenson said.
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.