Police chief anticipates retirement

John Luse reflects on 39 years of service

Nicole Sanford

For most, January marks the beginning of a new year, but for St. Louis Park Police Chief John Luse, it brings his retirement.

After 39 years of service in the St. Louis Park Police Department (SLPPD), Luse said his passion for policing made the decision to announce his retirement difficult.screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-12-57-59-pm

“It became clear to me that there was never going to be a day where I would wake up and not want to do this anymore,” Luse said.

Sophomore Cailey Hansen-Mahoney said she has high expectations for the police department.

“I expect them to treat everyone equally and to work their hardest to make sure St. Louis Park stays a safe and healthy community,” Hansen-Mahoney said. “I appreciate the work they do in our community.”

Luse said he wants citizens to feel as though the police department wants to work with the community, not against them.

“People might think the police exist to write tickets and arrest people,” Luse said. “Thinking that doesn’t build the kind of trust and the relationship we want to have.”

According to Luse, the department is deciding on a replacement for him, a process that will be finalized in December.

“We have some really strong, gifted leaders in the organization, so I am not concerned about that at all,” Luse said.

Sophomore Amaya Fokuo said she believes the replacement officer for Chief Luse doesn’t necessarily need to have an extended amount of experience in the field.

“You can be a new police officer (and not have) a lot of experience in the field but still know a lot of strategies and things that would make a good officer,” Fokuo said.

Looking forward, Luse plans to take the change one step at a time and has no expectations as to how his future will be different.

“I need some time to step back, collect my thoughts, and think about what’s next for me,” Luse said.

Police Chief John Luse will retire from the St. Louis Park Police Department Dec. 31. Luse worked on the force for 39 years.

Josh Halper