St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and City Council President Russ Stark on Wednesday announced a proposed process and committee for selecting the city's new police chief. The city council is expected to vote on the recommendations in January.
Chief Tom Smith announced last month his plans to retire at the end of his six year appointment.
“There is no more important decision before our community than the selection of our next chief of police,” Coleman said in a statement. “This new leader will need to have the full confidence of the communities served by the department. That is why we will have a diverse group of voices represented on the selection committee and it’s also why we will engage the broader public throughout the process through avenues like online forums and public conversations.”
Under the recommendation, the city council will approve the appointment of a 32-person selection committee to advise Coleman and the council. The co-chairs of the committee are Project for Pride in Living President and CEO Paul Williams and St. Paul Public Housing Agency Counsel and outgoing St. Paul Public School Board Member Louise Seeba. Members come from a cross-section of neighborhood and community groups, non-profits and businesses, educational institutions and organized labor. A new police chief is expected to start work by June 1.
“Choosing the next Chief of the St. Paul Police Department who will engage well with our community and continue to set the highest expectations for the department is a top priority of the city council,” Stark said in a statement. “With the help of the selection committee and a heavy dose of community input, the council will work to ensure that a top candidate who is ready for the job
Information will be updated throughout the process at stpaul.gov/PoliceChief.