Six weeks after his surprise filing to run for Hennepin County Sheriff, Ed Frizell broke his silence Wednesday to say why he’s doing it.

The Minneapolis Deputy Chief of Police and Minnesota Army National Guard colonel accused Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek of “absentee leadership” and of policies that have lowered morale within the sheriff’s office.

“There is a disconnect,” Frizell said, while formally announcing his campaign at the Hennepin County Government Center with his family. Frizell is seeking the endorsement of the Hennepin County DFL.

Stanek’s campaign released a statement Wednesday in response: “The election this fall will give everyone who lives in Hennepin County the chance to decide who is the best person to be sheriff. We respect everyone who is involved in this process and strongly believe that Sheriff Rich Stanek’s outstanding record clearly makes him the best person to continue to keep people safe across Hennepin County.”

It would be the first politically held office for Frizell, who is taking vacation time from the Police Department while campaigning. A graduate of the department’s cadet program, Frizell spent 21 years with the Minneapolis police in a variety of roles. He was promoted to his current position by Chief Janeé Harteau.

In his National Guard career, Frizell was deployed to Bosnia for seven months and to Iraq for one year in 2011, where he led the Minnesota Red Bulls.

He claimed administrative costs have risen sharply within the Sheriff’s Office, saying that’s happened while the department doesn’t have the money available to serve felony warrants “in a timely manner.”

Frizell said he had the endorsement of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, saying there’s low morale within the Sheriff’s Office.

“You have to all work together,” Frizell said. “You can’t have a top down leadership style.”