Interim police chief in place

John Luse retires, replacement search begins


Nathaniel Sturzl

On duty: Interim police chief Chad Kraayenbrink works in his office Jan. 5. Kraayenbrink will be in the interim police chief position until a new chief is chosen early February.

Maggie Bahnson, Ethan Brown, and Mimi Fhima

According to City Manager Tom Harmening, after previous St. Louis Park police chief John Luse announced his retirement in August, the city began conducting a search for a new officer.

According to Harmening, interim police chief Chad Kraayenbrink will be in place until a new police chief is selected for the position.

“(Kraayenbrink) is more than competent to serve to that capacity on an interim basis for the next couple months,” Harmening said.

Freshman Isaac Wahl said he hopes the new police chief will consider the points of view of all groups within the community.

“The police chief should keep in mind the new generations and their opinions, especially since St. Louis Park is a big community,” Wahl said. “Keep in mind that there is a diverse community here and not generalize to one specific group of people.”

According to Harmening, interview panels will be formed with a variety of people from the community once the candidate list consists of around five applicants.

“We will also include people from the community as well (in the panels). So, in (the) case of the school district I will be asking if Superintendent Metz would be interested in sitting on one of the interview panels,” Harmening said.

Harmening said recent racial tensions are an important factor in the final decision.

“It’s incredibly important, obviously some of the things that have happened in our country in the past couple years, the high-profile kinds of things have certainly heightened that and it’s clear that when we look for our next police chief, we want to make sure whoever that it is has a good understanding of the importance of that issue,” Harmening said.

Freshman David Khabie said he hopes the next police chief chosen will have an unbiased mindset.

“I would want to see them make sure that they’re using their right-sense and not pulling people over because of their race or religion,” Khabie said.