Otter Tail County employee who helped modernize emergency response system retires
Land and Property Services Division Director Brian Armstrong served for more than 35 years in a variety of roles throughout the county government.
Otter Tail County’s long-serving Land and Property Services Division Director Brian Armstrong will retire from Otter Tail County, according to a news release from Otter Tail County.
Armstrong served for more than 35 years in a variety of roles throughout the county government. He is recognized for initiating the countywide emergency response addressing system.
As county services evolved over the years so did the roles that Armstrong held, according to the release. Tasked early in his career as a jailer then a dispatcher responding to 911 emergency calls, Armstrong saw the need for a countywide system to assist in finding people who had called 911 . Additionally, he was instrumental in working with consultants to create technology that could be accessed by the public, including maps and data regularly used by many including school districts, hospitals, townships, and realtors.
“The technology initiatives that he put in place throughout his years allowed for a seamless transition to continued service to the public during COVID-19, even while the county buildings were closed,” County Administrator Nicole Hansen said in the release. “He led an efficient and effective team who found him to be a reliable and supportive leader.”
George Meyer, GIS lead developer, looking back on his years working with Armstrong said in the release, “Brian was never afraid to face a challenge. He strove to be open to new ways of thinking, challenging the status quo, and finding new and innovative ways to make Geographic Information Systems (GIS) useful to everyone.”
Armstrong recently reflected on his career, “Wow 35 plus years. . . first working under the Sheriff, then Bob Block who was the addressing coordinator, then under the County Board as a department head in GIS along with Sherry Leabo. After the county changed to an administrator model, I began working under the County Administrator.” he said in the release. “I truly enjoy challenges and change and have been fortunate to have had plenty of both. I have been blessed and have enjoyed great co-workers as we worked towards solutions and service for the people of Otter Tail County.”
“I have known Brian and his family for almost 50 years. Through the years he has been an awesome friend and a great hunting and golfing partner,” Tony Rendz, a GIS colleague, said in the release. “Fostering and mentoring those around him are the terms I think of as I watched our (GIS) department grow by leaps and bounds. From simply making maps our department is now sought out by others to incorporate GIS into their endeavors making their jobs easier!
According to the release, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners recognized Armstrong for “his professional service, guidance, and advice” as they expressed their utmost gratitude and appreciation for his many years of dedicated public service to the residents of Otter Tail County.