James Gritz takes over as Perham's new chief of police

Replacement for Jason Hoaby was most recently in New York Mills.

Perham's New Cheif of Police Jame Gritz started on Monday, Aug. 24. (RosaLin Alcoser/Focus)

Perham’s new Chief of Police James Gritz, 38, has 18 years of Law Enforcement experience and says that he is looking forward to building the police department as the town moves forward.

Gritz started his new position on Aug. 24. He is replacing former Perham Chief of Police Jason Hoaby, whose last day was Aug. 11, Hoaby resigned his position as chief of police in order to return to school.

Gritz has lived in the Perham and New York Mills area since 2010 and was the New York Mills chief of police for the past six years. “When this position came open, I decided that it would be a good career move to move up to Perham,” Gritz said. “It is a bigger department and the different channels that it brings. I felt that it was a good time in my career.”

According to Gritz, his first week on the job was spent mainly on learning the department and getting up to speed on what the police department has been dealing with. “It’s good,” he said. “The guy’s here are great, there’s a good department here.”

The Perham Police Department employs five full-time officers, three to four part-time officers, and one full-time administrative assistant and has an annual departmental budget of $764,841, according to Perham City Manager Jonathan Smith.


According to Gritz, he grew up in Brownville, Minn., and graduated from Alexandria Technical and Community College in 2002. He said that he has been in law enforcement for 18 years.

Before joining the New York Mills Police Department, “I worked for the city of Bertha for the police department and I started my career in Eagle Bend, both just down the road in Todd County,” Gritz said.

Gritz lives near South Pine Lake with his wife Tina, who is a nurse in Essentia Health’s emergency room in Detroit Lakes. They have four children, daughters Jasmine, 22, Harley, 8, and Jacqueline, 1-1/2 , and their son Logan, 19. They also have a grandson, Ivan.

“We try to get the girls out. We love to do stuff as a family whether it’s camping, boating, or whatever,” Gritz said. “We just do as much together as we can.”

Gritz said that he is looking forward to getting to know Perham’s community and to continuing to provide the great service that the police department currently provides.

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