Officer Ron Rollins, Badge #522 with the North Branch Police Department, made is final radio call on Sept. 30, 2019.
“For the last time, 10-7,” he radioed, his voice seeming to crack with emotion, in a video posted to the North Branch Police Department Facebook page.
The response from the other end: “Thank you for your 38 years of dedicated law enforcement service. You’ve been an amazing coworker, mentor and friend to so many throughout the years here. As you ride your Harley off into retirement, we wish you all the best. Thanks for everything, Radar.”
Law enforcement and military experience
Rollins has been with the North Branch Police Department for 15 years, but has a history with a number of law enforcement agencies in the area.
He started with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office at the age of 15 as a Sheriff’s Cadet under the guidance of Deputy Howard Kurtz. At the age of 16, he became a dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Office, and by 18 he was a part-time jailer and licensed peace officer.
He’s served in the police departments of Taylors Falls, Rush City, Wyoming, Lindstrom, Lakes Area and North Branch.
He also has experience at the state level as a dispatcher with the Minnesota State Patrol.
Rollins is also a veteran. In 1981, he joined the United States Army Military Police Corps and spent three years serving as an MP in Italy, Grenada and Saudi Arabia.
He’s a member of the North Branch American Legion, having held multiple leadership roles and volunteered many hours with the veterans’ organization.
Time for family
Rollins has said he now plans to spend more time with his family, which includes his wife Diane and four daughters: Kate and husband Nathan, Emily and husband Jake, and Meagan and Grace.
On July 21 of this year Rollins’ son Tony died at age 29 in a car crash near Harris. Tony had been a member of the North Branch Fire Department for 10 years and had been serving as Safety Captain. The family saw an outpouring of sympathy and support from North Branch in the days after Tony’s death.
In support of Rollins’ desire to be more available to his family, the police department’s Facebook page shared on Sept. 30: “We will miss Ron, but the time is right to enjoy the family. Here’s to a happy and healthy retirement!”
North Branch police chief Dan Meyer had these words about his long-time colleague:
“I have had the pleasure of working with Officer Rollins for the past 15 years. Ron has always displayed a genuine desire to help people in the community, and he has a very strong work ethic. He started every shift with a smile, and he kept a positive attitude up until the day he retired. He has done a great job and he will be missed.”