For purposes of patrol coverage, Clay County is divided into 4 equal sized areas. Deputies are assigned an area to cover during each shift. They are responsible for all calls for service in that area and are expected to focus their patrols in that area during the shift.
Deputies working in the Patrol Division enforce ordinances, laws, and statutes relating to traffic and criminal activity. Clay Deputies also respond to calls for service or assistance to protect people and property. Patrol deputies are highly dedicated to traffic safety, providing thorough accident investigation, and strict enforcement of alcohol related traffic offenses. All deputies have secondary responsibilities as part of a specialized team or function such as Crime Watch, Red River Valley SWAT Team, and the K-9 Unit.
Patrol Division Commander
Lt. Mark Empting oversees the Patrol Division, which provides 24 hour per day law enforcement coverage to Clay County. There are 15 employees assigned to the Patrol Division. Those employees include 1 lieutenant, 2 sergeants, and 11 deputies and 1 school resource officer (SRO).
The Patrol Division is committed to making our community as safe as possible. The Patrol Lieutenant administers several grants through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Department of Public Safety. These grants provide funding for additional work hours towards specialty enforcement details such as: Boat and Water Patrol, Snowmobile Patrol, All Terrain Vehicle Enforcement, Safe and Sober – Driving While Intoxicated Enforcement, Safe and Sober – Seatbelt Enforcement, as well as speed enforcement shifts.
Due to extreme weather conditions in Clay County and the difficulty accessing some remote areas, most of the issued squad cars are 4 wheel drive vehicles. The patrol vehicle fleet is made up of Ford Expeditions and Ford Explorers.
The Patrol Division deputies work from the Clay County Sheriff's Office main offices in the Law Enforcement Center in Moorhead and remote Sub-stations.