When Dave Hoagland retired as Anoka’s police chief in 1979, many of today’s officers weren’t even born — a fact current Chief Eric Peterson enjoyed pointing out during Hoagland’s birthday celebration last week.
On Thursday, July 9, Hoagland turned 100 and was honored with a Key to the City of Anoka in a ceremony outside Haven for Heroes on Fourth Avenue in Anoka. Earlier in the week, Mayor Phil Rice had proclaimed July 9, 2020, Dave Hoagland Day.
Born and raised near Pine City, Hoagland is a World War II veteran who became one of Anoka County’s first uniformed sheriff’s deputies. Sheriff Mike Auspos hired Hoagland in 1948, and Hoagland served until 1955, when he joined the Anoka Police Department.
Mayor J. David Johnson appointed Hoagland as Anoka’s police chief in 1963; he retired from the post in 1979.
“You were part of a pioneer group to modernize policing in our area,” Peterson told Hoagland July 9 in front of a group of law enforcement, elected officials, family and more.
During his career, Hoagland served on a committee that established the county’s Central Communications office to dispatch officers by radio, and he helped develop the county’s Criminal Investigation Division.
Hoagland also approved Anoka’s first police K-9, King, whose handler, Andy Revering, later became police chief and also retired from the Anoka Police Department.
During Hoagland’s birthday celebration, Revering told the story of when Hoagland hired him. Having grown up in a small town, Revering said he was familiar with small-town politics and asked Hoagland if there was anyone in Anoka he couldn’t arrest.
“There’s nobody in this town you can’t arrest as long as you’ve got just cause,” Hoagland told him. Then he added, “Just make sure you treat everybody the way you expect to be treated.”
Revering described Hoagland as a “firm disciplinarian,” and Hoagland’s stepson, Dale McKusick, said he was “fair, stern, hardworking.”
Council Member Brian Wesp spoke at the ceremony and said Anoka “has always been proud of their police department.”
As a child growing up in the city, “you were afraid of getting stopped, but you weren’t afraid of getting hassled by the police,” Wesp said.
Hoagland said he couldn’t have done the job on his own.
“I had a lot of good help,” he said.
Since retiring as Anoka’s chief in 1979, Hoagland has remained in town and now lives at the Homestead in Anoka.