Tim grew up in South Minneapolis, graduating from Washburn High School in 1976. After attending Augsburg College for two years, Tim transferred to Mankato State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement in 1980. During Tim's time at Mankato State, he took a job with the Minneapolis Park Police, a role he continued until taking a job as a recruit with the Saint Paul Police Department.
Tim graduated from Police Academy in October of 1980, receiving the
"Distinguished Recruit" award from his peers. While a police officer at
SPPD, Tim held a variety of assignments including patrol, street crimes,
communications, K-9, and was a member of SWAT. Tim was promoted to
sergeant in 1986 and worked patrol, narcotics, vice, communications and
managed the training academy for several recruit classes. While a sergeant, Tim returned to school at the University of St. Thomas eventually earning his Master’s Degree in Public
Safety Education and Administration in 1995. In 1995, he also graduated
from Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command where
he received the Franklin Kreml Leadership award. That same year, Tim
was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to Central District Investigations.
Tim also managed the SWAT team for three years. In 1999, Tim was
promoted to Senior Commander of the Eastern District. Tim was then elevated to serve as Chief-of-Staff to Saint Paul Police Chief Bill Finney and as Senior Commander of the Central District.
In 2003, Tim was appointed to Assistant Commissioner at the MN Department of Public Safety (DPS) by then Commissioner Rich Stanek. While at DPS, he led and managed the enforcement and regulatory services divisions of Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement, State Patrol, BCA, State Fire Marshal, Homeland Security and Emergency Management and helped develop the $500 million state-wide radio system as the chair of the Statewide Radio Board. Tim stayed on with Commissioner Michael Campion until 2010 when he left state government to work as Chief Deputy for Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows.
Tim served as Chief Deputy until 2014 when he was elected as the 20th Sheriff of Dakota County. Tim is responsible for leading the 200 person Sheriff’s Office. While Sheriff, Tim has initiated changes including establishing the first ever Dakota County Electronic Crimes Task Force, placing a deputy on the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, starting an education and outreach program designed to reduce victimization of our seniors, obtaining a $450,000 federal grant to reduce domestic assault and sexual violence, and creating the sheriff’s citizens advisory council. In addition, Tim is currently working with the state legislature to obtain funding for the Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training (SMART) Center. The project is designed to provide a state of the art training center to deliver mandated crisis response training for all regional first responders. Tim is a member of the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association and enjoys a great working relationship with all the law enforcement agencies in the county.
In addition to his police work, Tim has served as adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas in the Public Safety Leadership program since 2010. In addition, Tim was a member of the ISD 197 School Board from 2005-2009 and served as Board treasurer. Tim has been married to Julie for 35 years and they have four children- Laura 32, Dan (Megan) 30, Peter 27 and Mary 18. They celebrated the birth of grandson Leo last October. The Leslie’s have lived in Dakota County for over 30 years and currently reside in Mendota Heights. They are members of Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul where Tim has volunteered as a confirmation group leader, Lenten mentor, and youth basketball coach.