A well-earned send off
Capt. Robson retires after 28 years with Shakopee Police Department
When Capt. Craig Robson started as a Shakopee patrol officer in 1991, life was, shall we say, a little different.
Most officers didn’t wear bulletproof vests or use seat belts. They used pay phones to call dispatch. The department didn’t even issue him a gun. He had to borrow one from another officer.
“Things were so radically different than what they are now,” Robson recalled. “There’s nothing today that is the same as when I started. When you look back, it’s really kind of funny.”
It’s those changes that Robson marvels at as he prepares to retire after 28 years in law enforcement – all with the Shakopee Police Department.
Robson, however, almost didn’t come to Shakopee. The Winnipeg, Canada, native accepted a position with the New Hope Police Department just an hour before Shakopee police offered him a job. Knowing Shakopee was on the cusp of major growth, he could not pass up the opportunity to work in such a community.
“This has been such a great place to work. The amount of change that happened here is just phenomenal,” Robson said.
During his tenure, the police department has tripled in size and been in two different buildings. However, the biggest change has been technology. Today, everything is digital, and officers can access information right from their squad cars. It’s very different from the “days of pen and paper” and when crime scene photos were taken to a downtown drugstore for developing.
His favorite memories are some of the more unique experiences that come along with working in Shakopee—major sporting events, concerts and presidential visits. Not everyone has stood on a tee box while Tiger Woods competes for a major championship. “This job gives you the ability to do things that a lot of people don’t get to do,” Robson said.
Robson, who became a sergeant in 1998 and was later promoted to captain in 2007, manages the department’s investigative and records units. As he prepares for retirement, he’s looking forward to having more free time to watch his daughter’s college basketball games, babysit his granddaughter, go ice fishing and maybe even host a holiday without being on-call.
Police Chief Jeff Tate says it's impossible to sum up Capt. Robson's contributions in a few sentences.
"Whatever success we’ve had as an organization over the last few decades has Craig’s fingerprints all over it," Tate said. "We are really going to miss him as a person and the steady hand he provides in every decision we make."
While Robson has seen a lot of change—both in Shakopee and law enforcement— he says one thing hasn’t: an officer’s purpose. And that's something he'll carry with him long after he takes off the badge. “Police work has always been about treating people the right way and being respectful.”