Five finalists named in search for next St. Paul police chief

St. Paul police squad car
St. Paul police squad car
Tim Nelson | MPR News 2016

A committee in St. Paul has narrowed the field for the city's next police chief to five candidates, and the city will host forums featuring the finalists next week.

The finalists are one external and four internal candidates:

  • Jacqueline Bailey-Davis has been with the Philadelphia Police Department since 1997 and currently serves as staff inspector in the department's Standards and Accountability Division/Audits and Inspections Unit.

  • Pamela Barragan has been with the St. Paul Police Department since 1996. She is unit commander for the department's community partnerships unit.

  • Kurtis Hallstrom has been with the St. Paul Police Department since 1999. He's currently a senior commander overseeing the department's Eastern District.

  • Axel Henry has been with the St. Paul Police Department since 1998. He is commander of the department's Narcotics, Financial Intelligence, and Human Trafficking Division.

  • Stacy Murphy has been with the St. Paul Police Department since 2002. She is the department's current assistant chief.

A committee of more than 36 people selected the finalists.

“I am grateful for this diverse committee’s diligent work in reviewing the applications and interviews of candidates,” Sasha Cotton, co-chair of the committee, said in a news release. “These five finalists are great candidates; I am confident the city will be well-served by its next chief of police.”

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Mayor Melvin Carter will make the final appointment.

The finalists will participate in two public forums:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, starting at 6 p.m., at Washington Technology Magnet School, 1495 Rice Street

  • Wednesday, Oct. 12, starting at 11:30 a.m., at the St. Paul Event Center, 400 Wabasha Street North, Suite 320.

The forums are free and open to the public, and they'll also be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page.

In the past, St. Paul city leaders have rarely hired police chiefs from outside the department, and have never appointed a woman to the post permanently.

The next police chief will replace Todd Axtell, who retired on June 1. Deputy Chief Jeremy Ellison has been serving as interim chief, and previously said he would not seek the permanent position.