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good and that's what I strive to do every day," he said. As a bit of poetic justice, the motivation behind Laney taking the job in the first place is the same one he’ll miss the most when he leaves: the people. "I'll miss the banter and camaraderie – that total fulfillment knowing these people have your back and they know you've got theirs,” he said. “I'm not leaving because I don't like it, and I'm not leaving because I'm burned out. I'm leaving because I feel it's time – that I've done what I promised I would do for a community I love.” As Laney prepares to hand off the reigns to the next Cass County sheriff, he says the key is trusting in the men and women of the organization and what they bring to the table. His motto will remain with him until his last day as sheriff: “service and sacrifice before self.” When elected, “you asked the public to give you this trust, and now you need to give them back everything you got, even at your own expense,” he said. “As law enforcement officers, we belong to the community. Some days we have to be their guardians. Some days we have to be their warriors. Prepare yourself to be all of the above.”

They knew the sacrifices that came with being a cop's kid. Laney’s wife, Patty, has also been extremely supportive of his every move.

trout, snowmobiling and hiking – his goal being to conquer the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail from Canada to Duluth by the time he turns 55.

"She’s probably one of the biggest reasons I've had success in the sheriff's world,” he said. “She's been my rock, and I can't imagine having gone on this sheriff's adventure without her.”

“I just love to get out in the outdoors and take in God's beauty,” he said. “(Patty and I) enjoy spending a lot of time together, but when you carry two phones and you're basically in criticalincident ready mode at all times, you never really decompress.”

At the end of the year, Laney and his wife will head to northern Minnesota and their new home. “We knew years ago when we were done with the crazy, law enforcement life, we would settle down to a more peaceful life. A little less life and death and a lot more life," he said. “I found my peace. I'm a different person up there.” Offered a vice president role at TurnKey Corrections, a law enforcement technology company, Laney will start his new gig sometime in January. Laney’s familiarity with the language and network will come in handy, but this time, he’ll witness law enforcement from a different perspective. LANEY'S GOOD LIFE When time slows, Laney looks forward to fishing for walleye and

In fact, one of his former captains, Judy Tollefson, used to refer to him as “hair on fire guy.” "She said, 'Everywhere you go, you never slow down. You're always engaged in something,'" Laney said. "Hopefully, I'll learn some ways to be a little less high speed, a little less 'hair on fire guy,' and a little more calm, cool, dad dude.” When asked to define the good life, Laney didn’t hesitate. "The good life to me has been for 30 years I've woken up to a family who loved me. I got to go to a place that wasn't a job, it was my passion. And every day I got to make a difference in the community I loved. That is the good life," he said. "As I move on to the next adventure, I hope I can find that same fulfillment." •

PEACE AHEAD As his career in law enforcement comes to an end, Laney is adamant about giving his family the attention they deserve, including his daughters Danielle, 21, and Kaitlyn (Katie), 19. "They're the ones that suffer through this career,” he said. “They're the ones that had to watch me run out the door for the next critical incident. During the pipeline protest, I missed Katie's entire senior year of volleyball.” Though it was a lot to ask of his daughters, they never complained.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: PAUL LANEY urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23

Profile for The Good Life Men's Magazine

The Good Life Men's Magazine - November/December 2018  

Featuring Sheriff Paul Laney. Local Hero - CHARISM, Having a Beer with Joel Heitkamp, Mr. Full-Time Dad and more in Fargo Moorhead's only me...

The Good Life Men's Magazine - November/December 2018  

Featuring Sheriff Paul Laney. Local Hero - CHARISM, Having a Beer with Joel Heitkamp, Mr. Full-Time Dad and more in Fargo Moorhead's only me...

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