Derek Kruse joined the St. Olaf community in January 2022 as Director of Public Safety. In this role, Derek works collaboratively with the St. Olaf campus community to help achieve the department’s mission of providing a safe, secure, and stable environment to live, work, and learn.


Derek has worked in public safety for over 15 years in various capacities, including 5 years as a sworn peace officer at the Mesa Police Department (AZ) and 4 years as a sworn peace officer for the South St. Paul Police Department (MN).  During this time, Derek worked in several roles focused on community engagement and rebuilding the relationships between law enforcement and the communities they served.


Derek is certified in crisis intervention, substance abuse recognition, de-escalation tactics, crime prevention, and implicit bias training. Derek has received numerous awards during his time in public safety, including the MN Chiefs of Police Medal of Honor, the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Medal of Honor, and the South St. Paul Medal of Valor.


Derek received his AS from Normandale Community College, his BS from University of Wisconsin-Stout, and his MS from Concordia University – Chicago. Derek currently lives in St. Paul with his dog Bertha.