‘NO REGRETS’: Dunn County Sheriff offers resignation, leaves behind well-equipped department

Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy is trading in his badge and Glock 23 for a truck and payload of crude oil.

Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy resigned from his post effective at the end of March. (Photo by BRYCE MARTIN/Herald)
Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy resigned from his post effective at the end of March. (Photo by BRYCE MARTIN/Herald)

Herald Editor
Posted March 15, 2013 

MANNING — Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy is trading in his badge and Glock 23 for a truck and payload of crude oil.

Having served as sheriff since 2009, Rockvoy submitted his official letter of resignation on March 9, to take effect at the end of the month. Upon leaving the department, Rockvoy will take a position hauling crude oil for a trucking firm.

The main reason cited for his resignation was stress, as Rockvoy, 51, said with the tremendous growth of Dunn County also came steeper responsibility leading his department. Since his duty as sheriff began in July 2009, the department went from having two deputies to where it stands now with ten deputies.

“That’s a lot of responsibility and something that I was anxious at trying to handle,” Rockvoy said. “At this point it’s more than I want to take on.”

Rockvoy admitted he had been considering handing over his letter of resignation for a while, remaining uncertain of the county’s burgeoning future.

Had he known Dunn County would grow as much it has, however, Rockvoy said he still would have taken the job as sheriff.

“It’s sad to see (Rockvoy) go, a fine law enforcement official,” wrote resident Kent Rogne on the Herald’s Facebook page.

A fellow law enforcement official, Killdeer Chief of Police Chris Fenstermaker said Rockvoy was a good sheriff.

“We always worked out any disagreements we had to provide the best law enforcement possible to Dunn County,” Fenstermaker said.

Since an early age, Rockvoy wanted to be in law enforcement. He was born and raised in the country and liked to be out-and-about.

Working as a road deputy for Bottineau County since 2005, Rockvoy relocated to Dunn County when he heard of a road deputy opening with former Sheriff Larry Boepple’s department. Shortly after his hire, Boepple told Rockvoy he was going to retire. The position of sheriff became available and Rockvoy decided to apply.

“Did I ever think I was going to be sheriff, probably not,” he said. “It was a challenge; something I thought I would try. At that point it was a small county, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.”

The Dunn County Board of Commissioners proceeded through an interview process and Rockvoy emerged as the top contender for the job. He was hired, appointed interim sheriff and later elected to the official sheriff position in a public election.

“I’m going to hang on to my certification – I’m not saying that I won’t be back in law enforcement some time,” he said.

Rockvoy looks at his decision without regret, explaining the position became larger than something he wanted to handle. With the oil and gas boom, Dunn County saw a great influx in the amount of people traveling up and down its roads, frequenting area bars and crowding available housing.

“That is kind of a struggle as far as keeping track of everybody,” he said. “But I still see the regulars, that’s what I like … the people and being able to go out and visit.”

Rockvoy’s wife Karolin has stood by him with unwavering support while he considered resigning.

“That’s the first person that notices that your behavior has changed and that something’s bothering you,” he said of his wife.

Rockvoy said he enjoys the county, considering its terrain, the hunting and recreational activity.

“It was a fit for me. I came from that type of a county, where everybody knows everybody and it’s a rural setting,” he said.

The work Rockvoy has done within the sheriff’s department has pleased him. Getting the department to where it stands now, including its state-of-the-art equipment used by the deputies, meant most to Rockvoy.

“Safety (of the deputies) is my number one concern, their safety and the safety of the public,” he said. “That’s what I’m most proud of, leaving the department as set up as they are. They’re ready to move forward.”

Rockvoy now prepares for work in the oil field. He will haul crude oil for a trucking firm, having been a commercial driver years ago. He plans to stay at his residence south of Manning.

“Not everybody is going to like you in law enforcement. They only want you if they need you, but the majority of it was all good,” he said. “I made a lot of friends here in Dunn County and hopefully that will continue.”

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.

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