Kleinknecht, friendly face of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office

Mike Bellmore, Features Editor
Connie Kleinknecht has been office manager for the Ramsey County Sheriff's office for 21 years.

The smiling face of Connie Kleinknecht greets visitors to the sheriffs office every day at the Law Enforcement Center.

After starting as a dispatcher there in 1987, then-sheriff Perry Horner asked her to apply for the office manager job.

She got the job and has been there for 21 years, a unique career departure for a woman with a degree as a certified occupational therapy assistant.

“That’s certainly not in the line of work I’m in now,” Connie laughs when talking about her degree.

“But I like it. I like working with people. I’ve got three younger brothers who were cops.”

Kleinknecht had been in Oregon with her husband, Glen, prior to coming back to the area when his father became ill.

They were living with relatives in Jamestown at the time.

Both of them eventually landed jobs here in Devils Lake - Glen at Lake Lumber and Connie at the Law Enforcement Center.

Connie enjoys her job immensely because she’s a “people person.”

She gets saddled with a lot of paperwork, but she doesn’t even mind that.

She sets up prisoner transports, civil papers, warrants, deals with lawyers, court room procedures and deals with other sheriffs offices.

She’s so efficient and amazing Ramsey County Sheriff Steve Nelson just smiles in admiration.

“Connie really takes care of us,” he says. “She’s so good to work with.”

Kleinknecht actually had some “in field” experience in law enforcement about seven years ago.

She was appointed a Chief Deputy in 2003 between the time former Sheriff Steve Hamre resigned and Nelson was appointed sheriff.

So she’s well-versed in just about anything that can transpire in a sheriffs office.

“I’m a people person,” she admits. “Working with people is enjoyable.”

Connie and Glen are the parents of three children, Kyle (31), Amy (28) and Ethan (19).