Madison County sheriff addresses graduates

Reprinted from the Norfolk Daily News

sheriff vern hjorth

Sheriff Vern Hjorth

“My initial training consisted of a couple of days riding around with someone,” Madison County Sheriff Vern Hjorth said. “And then they gave me a thick book of statutes and told me to go to work.”

Hjorth was the keynote speaker Friday at the graduation ceremony for the 188th class of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center here.

Forty-five people received certification for passing the 16-week basic training course designed to give the graduates the necessary skills knowledge to effectively function as a law enforcement officer in Nebraska.

Hjorth said it was a challenge to decide what to say in his speech to the graduates because he knew the center’s course instructors had given them everything they needed to know throughout the 16-week program.

Hjorth said he received his answer earlier this week as he related a story about running into a judge Monday who gave him some sage advice.

“The judge said he recently had to dismiss a case for a driving under the influence charge. The only reason the charge was thrown out was because the arresting officer couldn’t communicate to the judge the probable cause for pulling the offending driver over in the first place,” Hjorth said.

So the sheriff appealed to the new officers to put down their cell phones and quit texting all the time.

“It’s time to get back out there and meet the people face-to-face,” he said. “When you stop to get gas or stop at a public function — stop and say hello to individuals. Talk to them and ask them how they are doing.”

There are so many different technological communication devices available today that people tend to forget about the most basic communication of talking directly to someone, he added.

“We also need to remember we are not at war with the public,” the 44-year law enforcement veteran said. “We are here to serve the public.”

Graduates receiving certification Friday included seven individuals from five Northeast Nebraska law enforcement agencies.

Two of the new officers were from the Norfolk Police Division, two were from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and there was one each from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Department and Wheeler County Sheriff’s Department.

Hjorth saved perhaps his best advice for last in his address.

“In your career you will see some things you will not be able to handle,” he said. “Go to your church or your place of faith and sit and think about it for 15 to 20 minutes. Pretty soon you will feel this hand on your back comforting you and helping you.

“Don’t turn around. There won’t be anyone standing there, but something is there to help you along.”

Reporting Internet fraud and other white collar crimes

Internet fraud and other white collar crimes


Internet fraud and other white collar crimes, such as email and telephone scams, are becoming more prevalent every day. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department receives numerous calls each week regarding these crimes.

We encourage everyone to visit the IC3 website at frequently to keep abreast of the latest consumer alerts.

If you think you have been the victim of internet or white collar crime, please file a complaint with the IC3 using the form at

Reports made via this form are routed directly to the FBI for investigation or referral.

2014 Law Enforcement Memorial Service

Sheriff's line

In 2014 area law enforcement officers honored the memory of Madison County Deputy James J. Drahota, who was killed in a vehicle pursuit on October 13, 1962.

Photo credit: Linda Gansebom

Marked Patrol Units


The Madison County Sheriff’s Department utilizes various types of vehicles to accomplish it various tasks. Shown below are two examples of vehicles currently in the fleet of marked patrol units. In addition to full size four wheel drive trucks, the department has placed a new Ford Police Interceptor into service. This new unit is a high performance, all wheel drive vehicle which will be used for everything from traffic enforcement to prisoner transports. The department also has several Dodge Chargers in service at this time.