My Life Series: Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka
Everyone has a story and this is the story of Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka. Soyka grew up in St. Cloud and was interested in law enforcement at an early age. He says he remembers as a young boy playing cops and robbers and he always had to be a cop. Soyka's mother was a homemaker and artist before becoming a substitute teacher while his father was a internal auditor at Fingerhut for a long time before opening up a car garage for a couple of years after getting auto mechanic training. Both Soyka's father and brother served a stint in the military. He says most of his relatives live in the Stearns County area.
Soyka grew up enjoying Squad 51 and watched Adam 12 on television. His interest in law enforcement increased in 5th grade when he further investigated the types of jobs in law enforcement he could do. In his freshman year in high school at Cathedral Soyka joined the Stearns County Sheriff's Office Explorer's program. He says his eyes were wide open to law enforcement as a career at that time.
Soyka indicated he wasn't sure whether he'd like to go to law school or become a police officer but after some experiences riding along with officers he was convinced a police officer is what he wanted to be. Soyka went on to St. Cloud State after graduation from Cathedral high school and majored in criminal justice. While in college Soyka worked security numerous locations including the New Munich ballroom and the Delwin. He was also campus security officer at St. Cloud State and worked security at the Kelly Inn. He took a full time job with Benton County just before graduation and finished his schooling while working full time. He stayed in Benton County for 5 years.
Soyka was contacted by Stearns County at that time and took the opportunity to come back to Stearns County and become an officer from then Sheriff, Jim Kostreba.
Soyka explained running for Stearns County Sheriff was a momentous decision and one that worked out well for him. Soyka is in his 2nd term as Stearns County Sheriff.
My conversation with Steve Soyka is in 4 parts below.