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Thursday, March 30, 2023

St. Paul’s Police Chief Todd Axtell Prepares to Step Down After Term of Managing Crises

“We have an issue,” the city’s NAACP president called Todd Axtell two days after he was sworn in as St. Paul’s police chief in 2016.

A 52-year-old guy was admitted to the hospital with two collapsed lungs, seven shattered ribs, and major K-9 bites to his leg, he told Axtell.

Axtell stated, “My heart plummeted.” He went to the hospital to speak with Frank Baker and learn more.

Baker was on his way home from work when he was approached by cops who mistook him for an armed suspect. Baker was kicked three times by an officer after a K-9 clamped down on his leg.

A St. Anthony police officer fatally shot Philando Castile in Falcon Heights less than two weeks later, prompting protests in St. Paul and an encampment outside the Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue.

Civil disturbance in St. Paul following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, a record-high number of homicides, and the necessity to keep cops working during the coronavirus epidemic were all part of Axtell’s tenure as police chief.

Axtell’s six-year term, which ends this week, saw him revamp use-of-force policy and training to emphasize de-escalation, diversify the department’s ranks, and strive for openness by releasing body-camera footage and traffic-stop data.

Following their visit to the grave, the Silvas set up their annual picnic, which has been hosted at South Valley Park in Inver Grove Heights for more than 30 years (although they skipped 2020 due to the pandemic). There was a snowfall one year, a long time ago. Tornado warnings are issued on occasion. However, there is usually some sunlight. There’s also food – a lot of it, from enchiladas to rhubarb bars. This year, there were also special T-shirts and banners to commemorate the gathering’s 75th anniversary. There were also remarks to a crowd of more than 100 people.

Axtell’s last day with the police department is Wednesday. He expects to spend some of time responding to calls with his son, a St. Paul sergeant, as is customary for retired St. Paul police to do with family members who work on the force.

Axtell is launching the Axtell Group, a consulting business that will focus on safety and security, crisis management and communication, and management consulting for both public and private sector enterprises.

He plans to spend more time with his family, which includes his wife, Lisa, two adult children, two stepdaughters, and seven small grandkids.

While Carter searches for a new chief, Deputy Chief Jeremy Ellison has been designated temporary chief. Carter stated that he intends to choose the city’s new chief of police in the late summer or early fall.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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