St. Paul police chief Tom Smith to retire this spring


St. Paul's Chief of Police Tom Smith is retiring this spring.

In an announcement on Friday, the chief said he had informed Mayor Chris Coleman that he will step down at the end of his six-year term, some time between April and June 2016.

"It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as Chief of Police for this great city," he said. "I cannot express in words how proud I am to have had the opportunity to lead such an exceptional department and work with so many dedicated and professional officers and civilian employees to keep St. Paul safe for its citizens."

"After more than 33 years in public service, it is time to look at the next chapter of my life," he added. "I am not sure what will come next, but I look forward to new opportunities in public or community service."

Smith was appointed by Coleman in 2010 having served 20 years at every rank in the department, before which he worked seven years in corrections.

The press release says St. Paul has experienced "significant reductions in serious crimes and domestic assaults" during his tenure, with Coleman saying the department "has become a national model for a 21st century police department."

"His emphasis on strong community relationships, building trust and creating a strong pipeline of diverse future officers will have a lasting impact on public safety and policing in our community."

The city says Smith's other achievements include the expansion of the St. Paul Youth Intervention program, the creation of the Safe Summer Nights program, and championing the Blueprint for Safety for responding to domestic violence.

Smith says his plans after stepping down is to "relax, travel and enjoy his family."

Next Up


St. Paul police chief suspends crime lab drug testing

Drug testing is being temporarily suspended in the St. Paul Police Department crime lab, MPR reports. The action comes after a Dakota County court hearing this week when two crime lab workers and the director of the lab said the lab does not follow any written procedures for drug testing and does not document most of the steps they take when testing evidence for illegal drugs.