Former county deputy honored

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2002

ROCHESTER – Former Mower County Sheriff's Department Deputy Dale Russell has been honored by the Minnesota American Legion.

Russell, now a special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, was honored Saturday as the Minnesota American Legion's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

The award was presented to Russell in ceremonies conducted at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester Saturday morning.

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"I've never solved a case alone," said Russell. "There are many talented, hard-working individuals in our agency and other law enforcement agencies, whose contributions should be


Russell, a 25-year veteran law enforcement professional, is a native of Austin, who worked for the Mower County Sheriff's Department for 21 years. He was a detective when he left the department to join the BCA in 1997.

His duties at the Willmar BCA office include conducting death investigations at the request of local law enforcement agencies in a 14-county area.

Russell joined a BCA team of investigators and agents, who solved cases including the homicide of Randy J. Pool of Hutchinson. Eight people were convicted of the crime.

McLeod County Attorney Michael Junge, who worked with Russell on a number of cases, recommended the special agent for the award to American Legion member Don Walser.

"I've been impressed with Dale's diligence and his desire to find truth," Junge said."He's the type of person who makes all of us in the criminal justice system do a better job."

BCA superintendent Michael Campion said Russell's experience, investigative savvy and leadership have earned him the respect of both peers and prosecutors.

"Dale Russell is an excellent homicide investigator and a true professional, who is dedicated to assisting law enforcement and serving the citizens of our state," Campion said.

Russell also assisted in the investigation of the 1999 murder of Cally Jo Larson in Waseca, which culminated in the identification of a suspect, who pleaded guilty to the crime.

He is also currently involved in the investigation surrounding the murder of Carrie Nelson, who was killed last year, while working in Blue Mound State Park located in the Luverne area .

Chief Deputy Terese Amazi of the Mower County Sheriff's Department praised the public safety officer.

"I'm very pleased for Mr. Russell," said Amazi."He worked for the Sheriff's Department for many years in Mower County and did a fine job."

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at