City police chief announced

Michael Harcey replaces retired Chief John Luse


DaeBreona Byrd

Former Lieutenant Mike Harcey received a badge after being sworn in as Chief of police at St. Louis Park City Hall.

After working for the Park Police Department for 26 years, Lieutenant Michael Harcey was appointed to the position of police chief in March.

According to Harcey, he believes his unique leadership skills allowed him to acquire this position.

“What has helped me get to this position is my leadership style. I look at myself as an authentic, assertive leader and I try to be very involved in (the police department’s) day-to-day activities,” Harcey said. “I pride myself on being a good communicator, listener, mediator and problem-solver when it comes to dealing with issues within the police department and the community.”

As the newly-appointed police chief, Harcey said his first steps include sharing his ideas with the department staff and hearing their insight on the future.

“I would say my first step as a new leader of the organization has been to reach out to, speak to, every one of our employees here and have a one-on-one meeting and talk about my vision for the departments and get their perspective on what they think is working well here,” Harcey said.

Freshman Brandon Bohanon said he hopes the police department will make an effort to communicate with students and staff and increase awareness of current issues in the Park community.

“(The police department should) have a monthly talk about different situations going on in the world, in the community — different situations that are coming up and the things that people are going through,” Bohanon said. “They should do it with students and teachers just to inform them of what’s going on, how can they help, what is our part in helping out the world.”

Harcey said he values respect and equality and hopes to carry out department services structured around those concepts.

“I pride myself on treating everybody with respect, dignity and fundamental fairness,” Harcey said. “(The police department is) going to continue to deliver police services with that model in mind, providing quality service, paying attention to quality of life issues, working in partnership with our community to solve problems and make this a better city.”

Sophomore Cailey Hansen-Mahoney said she hopes to see increased interactions between police officers and students in the community.

“I’d love to see more police presence in the community but not necessarily police presence in the school,” Hansen-Mahoney said. “I’d love to see police officers more in the community interacting with students outside of school.”

According to Hansen-Mahoney, although security is important, she feels having an armed officer in the building can escalate issues.

“I think it can definitely escalate problems to have a police officer that’s armed in the school buildings. And it’s not always the best option to have a police officer in the school, while it’s important for security,” Hansen-Mahoney said.

Harcey said the department will continue directing the liaison programs in the school district and expanding the department’s outreach towards students.

“We are going to continue with our school liaison programs in all of our schools and hopefully provide more community outreach and become more involved in some of the programs that reach our youths of the community,” Harcey said.

City Manager Tom Harmening declined to interview. His comments on the appointment of Lt. Harcey can be found in a news release from March 27 at