Nov 1, 2022 - News

Commander Axel Henry named St. Paul police chief

Axel Henry

Axel Henry. Screnshot via City of St. Paul Facebook stream

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has named St. Paul Police Department commander Axel Henry as the city's next police chief.

The big picture: Henry, who joined SPPD in 1998, will continue a decades long tradition of elevating a leader from within the department's ranks.

  • He'll succeed former chief Todd Axtell, who retired this summer after more than 30 years with the department.

Catch up quick: Henry, currently a commander of narcotics, financial intelligence and human trafficking, has served in multiple roles across SPPD in his 24 years with the department.

  • The former Eastern District senior commander was logistics chief for emergency response at the start of the pandemic. He also spearheaded the department's body-worn camera program and has worked as a trainer and use-of-force expert, according to Carter.

What they're saying: Carter said Henry's experience in "every division" and "lifetime and legacy of service embodies the values that we are seeking to advance" through the city's comprehensive approach to public safety.

How we got here: The announcement follows a months-long search for a new top cop in the state's second-largest city.

Of note: Department veteran Jeremy Ellison has led the department since Axtell stepped down. He said from the start that he did not plan to seek the role permanently.

What's next: The appointment requires confirmation by the City Council. Carter said he expects that process to begin in the weeks ahead.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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