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Former, current posse members celebrate group’s 40th anniversary

The McLeod County Sheriff’s Posse has provided security at dances, assisted at fatal accidents and homicides, monitored campgrounds and lakes, helped at Winstock and the county fair, searched for missing persons and provided a multitude of other services to the county in its 40-year history.
Current and former members of the posse gathered Saturday afternoon at Oak Leaf Park in Glencoe to celebrate the 40-year history of the group.
The posse was started in 1976 by the late Leon Odegaard, who was the sheriff at the time. The original group was made up of 25 members, with the county commissioners appointing five members each from their respective districts. Now, membership is through an application process.
The posse was formed in the wake of a tornado that hit in 1975, when the county found itself short of resources. The National Guard was called to circle the Haukos Trailer Park in Glencoe to prevent looting in damaged trailer homes.
Although Odegaard is gone now, former sheriffs Duane Kopesky and Wayne Vinkemeier spoke to those who gathered Saturday, as did current Sheriff Scott Rehmann.
“I was fortunate to be with you folks for 20 years,” said Kopesky. “We had homicides, we had buildings blow up … and you were always there.”
Kopesky said he appreciated both the posse members and their spouses and families.
“I really have to recognize the spouses, because they didn’t know if you were going to come back,” said Kopesky. “Being a posse member was a family thing.”
Vinkemeier, who served under Kopesky before being elected sheriff when Kopesky retired, said he had a long association with the posse.
“I was kind of in charge of you guys under Duane,” said Vinkemeier. “You’re a tremendous group of people.”
And posse members were — and are — always willing to help, said Vinkemeier.

For more, see the Sept. 14 print edition of The Chronicle.