In an emotional ceremony at this morning’s (Feb. 22) Wright County Board of Commissioners meeting, family and work colleagues honored Captain Annette Habisch-Peterson with a retirement plaque after more than 35 years of service to the citizens of Wright County in her work with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Sean Deringer said Habisch-Peterson has been an integral part of the Sheriff’s Office since 1988 and a valued asset to the office as well as the county’s residents.
“Annette has certainly shared my vision,” Deringer said. “I’ve always said it comes down to how we treat people. I have very much appreciated Annette’s role in the Command Staff and certainly our conversations as we have worked our way forward. I’m going to truly miss her.”
Deringer pointed out that Habisch-Peterson is the last current member of the Sheriff’s Office that was hired by legendary Wright County Sheriff Darrell Wolff, who served 26 years as sheriff (1963-89) before dying in office July 26, 1989.
Habisch-Peterson has served many roles in the Sheriff’s Office, including as a patrol deputy, in the narcotics division, an investigator, a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), a CID sergeant, communications dispatch sergeant, administrative lieutenant and, since 2016, the CID captain. She began her law enforcement career as a Sheriff’s Office Explorer in 1984 when she came to the Wright County Sheriff's Office, she was one of just two women working in the department. She has worn many hats, having worked as a matron, worked in the county jail, worked in dispatch, been a member of the Wright County Honor Guard and a member of the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association.
Habisch-Peterson thanked her family – parents, husband and three children – for their unwavering support and encouragement throughout her professional life and understanding that at times work had to take precedence over family events. She thanked members of her extended family for giving their unconditional support to her and law enforcement.
Habisch-Peterson has appreciated the versatility she has experienced during her law enforcement career, because she has seen some horrific crime scenes over the years that made her question how long she could withstand the mental and emotional strain that is inherent with the job as the first to respond to crime scenes nobody wants to see or remember. At times when her emotional bucket seemed to be at its limit, a new empty employment bucket was there to takes its place.
“As soon as my buckets got full, there was always an opportunity to change,” Habisch-Peterson said. “It was really a blessed career. To the rest of my work family – I’ve always said I have a blood family and a badge family. My badge family is a bond I will miss the most.
“The last six years serving as a captain in our criminal division has been amazing,” Habisch-Peterson added. “To see the dedication, perseverance and compassion these detectives, narcotics agents, SROs, forensics folks, crime scene deputies, evidence techs and our victim advocate in action every day is inspiring. That’s what makes coming to work every day worth it. I can never say that I just hated coming to work because I didn’t. I knew that I would have this support system in place at work and we all went through it together. I’m going to miss the routine of coming to work every day. I’m going to miss my badge family the most. I will continue to pray that everybody working at the Sheriff’s Office is going to go home.”
The county board thanked Habisch-Peterson for her service to the county, including two commissioners that worked with her at one point in their careers – Christine Husom and Mike Kaczmarek. On behalf of all of Wright County, we owe a debt of gratitude to Captain Habisch-Peterson for her dedication, excellence, work ethic and commitment to the residents of Wright County.
The plaque presentation ceremony can be viewed on the county’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__ecFHtgR3I) beginning at the 6:15 mark.