Tom Gunderson surrounded by family during his retirement party Monday from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. From left to right are: father Jan, mother Sharon, Gunderson, daughters Molly and Megan, and wife Liz. (Herald photo by Jason Schulte)
Tom Gunderson started his collegiate years in the computer science program at UW-River Falls.
“I hated it from day one,” he said.
He found an out when he met John Overland, who at the time was an employee with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Gunderson did a couple of ride-alongs with Overland and, eventually, Gunderson was convinced into working part-time at the sheriff’s department.
It ended up being one of the best decisions of Gunderson’s life, as he turned the part-time job into a 28-year career, which ends Friday.
“I haven’t had time to count the days,” he said last week. “The biggest thing for me is getting these cases done and cleaned up.”
Gunderson isn’t riding off into the sunset. He’s trading his badge in to become a full-time professor at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in River Falls, where he will be teaching in the Criminal Justice Department starting next month.