The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 12, 2008

Weinkauf contemplates retirement

New Ulm's finest to continue teaching

NEW ULM — For Erv Weinkauf, the long arm of the law steered him toward a classroom years ago — and he remains as content there as Br’er Rabbit in his briar patch.

“I love it,” the New Ulm police chief says of his teaching avocation. “It’s my passion.”

Weinkauf will be 59 when he retires in January after 37 years in law enforcement. But in his case, retirement is a fluid concept because he plans to continue sharing his knowledge and experience with pupils ranging from college age to veteran police officers.

“I sincerely believe I bring something to the classroom that not too many others can — and that’s street experience,” he says.

“In this job, you learn it takes all types of people to make a world, and in this job you see a lot of them.”

The dual track of Weinkauf’s career began in the late 1960s. Though his father was a Brown County sheriff, Weinkauf had planned to be a Lutheran minister when he went off to college.

But when that notion waned, he curtailed his college pursuits and went into the armed services, serving as an airborne military police officer in Europe.

That whetted his appetite for a law enforcement career, and upon his return stateside, his father offered him a deputy job, which he took in lieu of going to college.

He began working his way up the law enforcement ranks, eventually joining the New Ulm police department.

In 1987 he earned a two-year degree from Minnesota State University and completed online four-year degree work with Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

A couple of years later he decided to pursue a master’s degree from Minnesota State, then thought better of it.

“I didn’t think it was fair to be spending money on myself with kids going to college.”

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