Bemidji has new police chief

Bemidji has a new police chief. Mike Mastin, 36, replaces former chief Gerald Johnson, who retired in September after 32 years with the department.

Mastin, who's been with the Bemidji Police Department for a decade, was sworn into the top spot on Thursday. He's been serving as interim chief since Johnson's retirement.

Mastin tells The Bemidji Pioneer he's been listening to officers and staff about ways to improve the department. He says a string of recent retirements have left a very "youthful" department.

Mastin says he's open to integrating more new technology into the department. He also wants to see more community based policing, and he says he'll encourage officers to become more involved in the community.

Mastin is originally from Detroit Lakes. He has a degree in criminal justice from Bemidji State University.

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