ST PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and local leaders announced Commander Axel Henry will be the incoming police chief for the St. Paul Police Department.
On Tuesday morning, Carter announced Henry as the selection from the five finalists announced in early October: Dr. Jacqueline Bailey-Davis, Commander Pamela Barragan, Senior Commander Kurt Hallstrom, Assistant Chief Stacy Murphy, and Henry.
"It's a very rich legacy with very big shoes to fill," Henry said following the announcement. "I understand the great potential we have, and how well we can establish the best possible responses as a community working together."
A St. Paul native, Henry first joined the St. Paul Police Department in 1998 and has risen through the ranks as a sergeant and later commander in the central district, and senior commander in the eastern district. Since 2019, Henry has served as Commander of Narcotics, Financial Intelligence and Human Trafficking.
"We've experienced a lot of challenges over the years, and nothing more challenging than the last few years for certain," Henry said. "But this has now created an opportunity for us. It's an opportunity for us to all come together as a community and really bring about the realization of the vision that the mayor was talking about: we can co-produce a public safety strategy for this city that can be a role model for the entire country."
Mayor Carter noted that Henry was instrumental in spearheading SPPD's body-worn camera program and led the Blueprint for Safety Program.
"Our St. Paul Police Department embodies the mission of trust and service with respect. I'm confident that as chief, Axel Henry will uphold the highest public service our community has come to expect as we work to move our capital city forward," Carter said in his announcement.
Henry, who has a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting and a master's in educational leadership and administration from the University of St. Thomas, also graduated from the FBI National Academy, the Command College at FBI Quantico and University of Virginia Master’s Program, and the Wilder Foundation’s James P. Shannon Leadership Institute.
The St. Paul Chief of Police Examining Committee, tasked with identifying the finalists, was made up of 38 citizens from the region. The group met multiple times from July through October and was responsible for reviewing all the department's applications.
Pending approval by the St. Paul City Council, the new chief will be appointed to a six-year term, and will succeed interim Chief Jeremy Ellison, who took over the department following former Chief Todd Axtell's retirement earlier this year.
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