My name is Gene Samuelson and I am the Sheriff of Phelps County.
I was born in Holdrege in 1961 at Brewster Hospital and have lived a great part of my life in Phelps County. I grew up just south of the Platte River and attended school in Overton. I was active in Phelps County 4-H and played baseball in Loomis until 1975. Then my family moved to West Point Nebraska where I attended High School. After graduation, I attended Southeast Community College in Milford Nebraska studying Diesel Technology. I returned to Phelps County in 1981 working as a mechanic in the Bertrand and Holdrege area at Bertrand Irrigation, Fossom Ford and Sperry New Holland. When these businesses closed due to farm issues, I decided to change careers with the assistance of Terry Nelson and the Village of Loomis. I entered the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in January 1986. Upon the completion of this training, I began a new career in West Point Nebraska at the Police Department and then the Cuming County Sheriff’s Department. In 1988, I married Carol Schuster and two years later we were graced with a daughter Calli. In 1994, I began serving the Village of Bertrand as Village Marshal and then in 1999, I moved to my current job with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department. I moved up the ranks to Sergeant until I was elected Sheriff in 2011 and I have a staff that consists of 5 deputies and 17 Corrections Officers.
Over the years I have patrolled the highways and streets of many communities and talked with many of the schools’ students on safety topics as School Resource Officer. I have attended many specialized training courses specific to Law Enforcement over the years. Supervision, DWI and Standardized Field Sobriety Training, Inmate Behavior Management, Crime Scene Reconstruction, Basic Crime Scene Investigation, Advanced Crime Scene Investigation, Mastering Performance, Crimes Against Persons Investigations, Case Management, Interview and Interrogations, Drug Identification and Symptoms of Abuse, Drug/Narcotic Interdiction and Investigation Foreign Animal Disease Response Training Officer Course. One of the more intense courses I studied was the certification to be a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Upon receiving my DRE certification I continued with more training to become an instructor to train or instruct other officers in Standardized Field Sobriety. I have attended many other conferences and online training courses which were coordinated locally or though the state or federal offices.
I began serving on the Bertrand Fire Department in 1982, then joined the Loomis Fire Department where I became a certified Emergency Medical Technician. I later used this training on the West Point Rescue Unit. As a law enforcement officer, this training is vital when responding to the accidents and medical problems I encounter. I am currently serving the Bertrand Fire Department along with being an instructor for the American Heart Association in connection with Phelps Memorial Health Center in FIRST AID/ CPR/AED.
I am a Christian, born and raised in the Adullam Lutheran Church north of Bertrand, and am presently a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bertrand. I have been involved with many of the activities of the communities of Phelps County. I work with my “retired” Dad, Allen, occasionally doing auctions with our Samuelson Auctioneering business. My mother, Marlene, passed away in 1988 and from her I was given the love to sing. She was a very good singer and brought us up singing in church. Up until her death, the family sang in the Bertrand Gospel Night in the park. I have continued this singing with my daughter, sisters and other family members in the Passion Play in Bertrand for many years. Now I’m part of the Holdrege singing group called the “Group”. This last year I sang in the Lexington Community Choir.
I am a participant in the Relay for Life Cancer Walk in Holdrege in memory of my mother and other family members and I participate in the events that sponsor the Special Olympics.
I have served on Church Council, Village Trustee of Bertrand for eight years (one year as Chairman), a short number of years as Phelps County Emergency Manager, and currently am serving on the Hi Line Golf Course Board, Holdrege Memorial Homes Board of Directors, and the Holdrege Junior/Senior Baseball committee. I am currently in the fourth year as Loomis High School Golf Coach. I enjoy working with the students and the game I love to play.
I still have a desire for agriculture and when off duty you might find me in the field helping Dannehl Farms around Bertrand or NS Ventures trucking. When not at any of these places, I might be working on an antique tractor in my Dad’s shop.
I have many past and present Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, and fellow Senior Officers to thank who have given me some great instruction and leadership over the years. I am proud to have served with Sheriff Tom Nutt who has built a respected and professional Department that has seen some big changes over his terms. I continue to follow his footsteps and make prints of my own as I work with all agencies in Law Enforcement for the betterment of Phelps County.
As your Sheriff, I am not out to change the world or promise you the world; but I strive to provide a safe community for our families to call home and a community of which we are all proud. In a changing world, as your Sheriff I look at new trends or equipment to better serve and protect you the people of Phelps County and our officers. To “Serve and Protect” has always been what I think is an officer’s motto, and I will assure you that motto will continue as well as the professionalism of our office while I am the Sheriff of Phelps County.