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Cook County sheriff to hang up his badge

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Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk has announced that he won’t seek re-election in 2014 and will be retiring from law enforcement when his term ends in January 2015.

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“Part of being a leader is recognizing and knowing when to move on,” Falk wrote in a statement announcing his decision. “The time has come for me to step aside and let someone else who has the energy and the enthusiasm to lead this office into the future.”

Falk has been sheriff since being appointed in 2005. He was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. He joined the sheriff’s department as a deputy in 1991 and rose to chief deputy by 1995. He served a short stint as the chief of police in Canby, Minn., in 1999 but returned to Grand Marais in 2000 as a jail administrator.

He had been a Grand Marais police officer beginning in 1989. His first job was with the Ortonville Police Department in 1987.

Falk is a 1984 graduate of Two Harbors High School. He has been married to his wife, Sue, for 25 years, and they have three adult children.

“The Cook County’s Sheriff’s Office is full of competent individuals who do an extraordinary job maintaining a high level of professionalism,” Falk wrote.

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