St. Paul wants to know what residents are looking for in the next police chief. 

The city created an online survey posing the question, “What characteristics and experiences do you believe are most important for Saint Paul’s next police chief and why?” 

“We want to make it easy for people to weigh in,” Mayor Chris Coleman said, adding that city is trying to find a chief who is in tune with community needs and aware of residents’ concerns.

People can also provide feedback by emailing And officials plan to attend community events and visit different locations around St. Paul, like Hmongtown Marketplace, to gather opinions on the next chief.

That person is expected to start work in June and will replace Tom Smith, who said he will step down this spring. 

The job posting goes up next week. A 32-person panel, which includes community members and law enforcement officials, will narrow down those who apply.

After they winnow down the candidate list to five people, community members will be able to meet with the finalists at two events. They will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on March 29 and March 31.  The forum on the 29th is at Central High School Auditorium, 275 Lexington Pkwy N. and the one on the 31st is at Johnson High School Auditorium, 1349 Arcade St.