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Sgt. Bryan Burkhalter retires

Sgt. Bryan Burkhalter ended his nearly 30 year police career at the end of February.

Bryan Burkhalter grew up wanting to become a police officer. There are pictures of him at 5 years old standing next to squad cars and he never really wavered from that line of thought. He followed through and has worked as a police officer in Rosemount for 28 years.

Proud of his career, Burkhalter said he wanted to retire while he still felt good about coming to work every day. Changes in the pension rules made it possible for him to retire without penalty, so Burkhalter made the decision to hang it up. His last day on the department was Feb. 27.

“I’m ready for a change of pace,” said Burkhalter.

Life’s ambition

After graduating from Rosemount High School, Burkhalter joined the Rosemount Police Department as a reserve officer in 1983. He served in that role for four years and then joined on as a full-time patrol officer.

“I was drawn to the idea of helping people,” said Burkhalter of becoming a police officer.

That ethos also inspired Burkhalter to volunteer on the Rosemount Fire Department starting in 1985. He reached the rank of Lieutenant before leaving the fire department in 1996.

Burkhalter knows he has helped a lot of people over the years, and he’s glad he could serve the community in which he grew up. During his time on the Rosemount Police Department he has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, detective and as commander of the Dakota County Tactical Team. In 2013, Burkhalter served as interim police chief.

“We’ve helped a lot of people. We’ve saved a lot of lives. We’ve lost a lot of lives too. That’s the hard part of the job,” said Burkhalter.

Even with the bad days, Burkhalter has generally enjoyed coming to work every day. He especially enjoyed the comradery of his fellow officers.

“It’s good to come to work. I have worked with a lot of good people,” said Burkhalter.

Still, there are elements of the job he won’t miss. In particular, Burkhalter said he won’t miss “14-year-old law experts who know how to do my job better than I do.”

Police chief Mitch Scott said Burkhalter’s dedication and experience has been an asset to the city of Rosemount and the Rosemount Police Department.

“Sergeant Burkhalter will be greatly missed,” said Scott in his memo to the council.

Ready for a change of pace, Burkhalther said he plans to start a second career working with heavy machinery.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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