Minnesota Rep. Brion Curran, a first-term Democratic legislator from Vadnais Heights, worked as a licensed police officer for 50 days before submitting her resignation, according to employment records obtained by Alpha News.
Curran pointed to her law enforcement experience as giving her a unique perspective on public safety issues during the 2023 legislative session and on the campaign trail.
“Yes, I did serve in uniform and yes, I have been in dangerous situations. So I do have some perspective here. It’s not often, usually you hear somebody stand up and say they’re a lawyer, but I’m standing up and saying yes, I was a police officer and it takes a whole lot to put on that uniform everyday as those of you who’ve put it on know,” she said during an April House debate.
According to her campaign website, Curran worked as a sheriff’s deputy for the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office and as a White Bear Lake reserve officer, which is a non-sworn, volunteer position. White Bear Lake’s reserve officers are asked to volunteer eight hours per month. They are not licensed by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.
“A reserve officer’s duties do not include enforcement of the general criminal laws of the state, and the officer does not have full powers of arrest or authorization to carry a firearm on duty,” state statutes explain.
Curran was appointed a deputy sheriff on March 19, 2018; she submitted her resignation letter May 9, 2018, according to Chisago County records.
“I regret to inform you that for personal reasons, I am resigning from my position as a Deputy Sheriff with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office effective immediately,” she wrote. “I sincerely apologize for this sudden notice and appreciate your understanding throughout the process.”
Curran states on her campaign website that she ended her tenure with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office “after enduring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a licensed police officer.”
“Over my lifetime, over the last 21 years or so my experience has been in the nonprofit realm,” Curran said on a recent podcast she co-hosts. “As a lot of people know, I also got my education in law enforcement and criminal justice so while I was working in the nonprofit realm I went to school to become a police officer and I did become a police officer. After entering the police force, and I’m sure we will talk about this on a future episode and get more in-depth, but after I left law enforcement, I went back to nonprofit.”
Curran was arrested by her former employer last week for drunk driving, blowing a breathalyzer of twice the legal limit. Court documents say Curran thought she was in St. Paul, despite being 50 miles north of the city, and told officers she was having a hard time getting home.
Curran serves on the board of directors for an organization founded by lawmaker Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St. Paul, the Queer Equity Institute.
She is in her first term as a member of the Minnesota House and sits on the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee. She also is the vice chair of the House DFL Queer Caucus.
Curran did not respond to a request for comment.