Skip to main content

Interim police chief will be first woman to lead St. Paul Police Department

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Assistant Chief Kathy Wuorinen will be appointed interim chief of police in St. Paul, making her the first woman to lead the city’s police department.

She will be replacing Chief Tom Smith after he retires later this spring while the city and department looks for a permanent replacement, Mayor Chris Coleman announced Thursday.

“I’m incredibly grateful that Assistant Chief Wuorinen will be taking the helm this spring,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “Her history with the department and her strong leadership make her more than qualified to step into the interim role as we continue our search for a new police chief.”

Wuorinen, a 27-year veteran of the St. Paul Police Department, currently serves as the assistant chief of support services and administration.

According to the release, Wuorinen started her law enforcement career as a deputy with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department in 1985 and joined the St. Paul Police Department in 1988, working various positions, including time as a police officer, sergeant, commander.

She currently lives in Woodbury with her husband of 20 years, Sgt. John Wuorinen, who is assigned to the department’s Internal Affairs Unit.

“I am honored to have been chosen to serve as interim chief while Mayor Coleman and the City of Saint Paul decide who will be the next permanent chief,” Wuorinen said.

The city had planned to have Smith's permanent replacement by June, but the hiring process was delayed because not enough candidates were interested, the Pioneer Press reported. However, with seven candidates finally in the pool, there may be a new chief by July.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.

Related

Jeremy Ellison

St. Paul's interim police chief announced

Mayor Carter's pick for interim chief doesn't plan to seek the permanent job.

Rybak nominee would be first woman to lead Minneapolis police department

Mayor R.T. Rybak has nominated Janee Harteau to be Minneapolis' next Chief of Police. The 25-year veteran of the department would be the city's first female police chief. Harteau is currently an assistant to Chief Tim Dolan, who is retiring at the end of the year.