Former Detroit Lakes Police Chief Shares His Rhythm With Audiences Across Country

Tim Eggebraaten was a law enforcement officer for nearly 28 years, but has always been a musician on the side

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — For Tim Eggabraaten, pursuing a love of music means helping others find the right rhythm.

“The purpose of my message isn’t to go out and say ‘oh look at me’ or look at police officers or anything. There’s just a hunger for a positive message out there,” he said.

He’s trying to feed plenty of positive vibes to his audiences, performing as the “Off Duty Chief” both in North Dakota and Minnesota and at venues across the country, all with a little help from Taylor.

“This is my baby. I got it about 12 years ago. It’s a Taylor 614. She travels with me a lot getting some road rash and she got dropped in Indiana,” Eggebraaten said.

Eggabraaten says as a child, all he ever wanted to be was a police officer.

And he was for 28 years, starting out at the Clay County Jail and eventually working as a Detroit Lakes Police Chief for five years.

But it was always the strum of a guitar that seemed to get him through to those who put up their walls around officers.

“Big burly guy who shook my hand after a song I was playing, he pulled me in and said ‘I hate cops but I love that song you just sang and what kind of guitar is that?’ It was a moment where there was no way he would have talked to me knowing I was a police chief,” Eggebraaten said.

But being an entertainer has always been more than just breaking down barriers.

“I’ve been singing all my life and playing guitar since college so for 30 years and I just love how music makes people feel,” Eggebraaten said.

It’s the very reason Eggabraten started pursuing music on the side when he was still an officer and why there are no other plans for a second retirement anytime soon.

“Ok, here’s the deal. I have three gigs booked for when I’m 102–years–old. My hope is that my body can keep up with my energy level,” Eggebraaten said.

Because when you can feel the music running through your soul, you don’t let it stop.

At his peak, Eggabraaten says he’s done 130 shows a year.

He also gives motivational speeches across the country.

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