Tina Tungseth

Tina Tungseth has retired from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office after a long career working in the County Detention Facility. After graduation from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Public Administration she began working in the county jail. As one may imagine, the job is not for everyone, but Tungseth felt that in 34 years she was able to help a lot of people and found her career to be rewarding.

Tungseth and her husband lived and farmed in the area for over 38 years. They raised three children with one son following in his mother’s footsteps working for the Sheriff’s Office. 

Her father served in the U.S. Army for 22 years and became a minister. She attributed her career choice to her upbringing and her desire to work in a helping profession.

In her career she saw many changes in the criminal justice system. 

“I have watched a steady progression of drug abuse increases, as well as mental health of inmate’s decline,” said Tungseth. “I have been fortunate over the years to have met amazing corrections and law enforcement staff who have never forgotten the importance of integrity in their actions and their purpose of service to our community reflected in their daily work.”

“Sgt. Tina Tungseth was a great asset to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office and to the citizens of Otter Tail County. Her dedication and professionalism to the staff and inmates will be missed,” said Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons. “Tina has always strived to give the best care to the inmates and was always looking for ways to improve the quality of service. I wish her the best in her retirement.”

Otter Tail County is currently hiring Detention Facility staff. Tungseth’s advice to potential jail staff is to seek courses in medical and mental health training and develop interpersonal communication skills because those skills are used frequently in this line of work.

“Seeing people have success over difficult life obstacles and knowing that you have been a part of changing lives has been the most rewarding aspect of my career,” remarked Tungseth. “Also, I will have to say, the jail staff are some of the best people you could ever know. . . they become your second family.”