Selection committee and public hearings will help choose new St. Paul police chief

St. Paul officials plan an extensive search next year for a new police chief, with a large selection committee and two public candidate forums.

Current Police Chief Tom Smith will step down next year at the end of a six-year term, and the mayor and City Council plan to have a new chief in place by June 1.

Mayor Chris Coleman said: “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.”

City Council President Matt Stark said choosing a new chief “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.”

The selection committee will be co-chaired by Paul Williams, the former deputy mayor and now Project for Pride in Living president, and outgoing St. Paul Public School Board Member Louise Seeba.

The entire proposed selection committee, designed to include “a broad cross-section of diverse community voices from neighborhood and community groups, non-profits and businesses, educational institutions and organized labor,” is composed of:

  • Al Paulson
  • Billy Collins
  • Bwei Pao
  • Chue Vue
  • Dave Titus
  • Dave Thune
  • Deanna Foster
  • Doug Ruiz
  • Faria Kalif
  • James Garrett
  • Javier Morillo-Alicea
  • Jeff Martin
  • John Kelly
  • Judge Teresa Warner
  • Louise Seeba, Co-Chair
  • Matt Kramer
  • Melissa Houghtaling
  • Nancy Haas
  • Paul Williams, Co-chair
  • Reverand Charles Gill
  • Roger Meyer
  • Said Ali
  • Sammy Clark
  • Sgt. Mark Ficcadenti
  • Shelly Johnson Cline
  • Sheriff Matt Bostrom
  • Teresa Neal
  • Tim Marx
  • Tony Parrish
  • Tracine Asberry
  • Zarina Sementelli
  • Zongleng Pha

The candidate forums to be held in late March will let residents question the candidates. Online forums also will be set up.

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