Photos: New St. Paul police chief sworn in, says he is ready for reform

A man is surrounded by friends and familiy
Family, friends and Mayor Melvin Carter surround Axel Henry as he is sworn in as St. Paul’s next chief of police during a city council meeting on Wednesday in St. Paul.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

On Wednesday Axel Henry was sworn in as the next St. Paul police chief after the City Council approved his nomination.

Henry has been a commander with the department for 24 years. In an interview with All Things Considered host Tom Crann, he said gun violence, retention and reform are at the top of his agenda.

I think sometimes the word ‘reform’ gets a bad name, especially from law enforcement, because they take it like we're basically saying, ‘You're bad and we're going to change you.’ Really, the right way to look at it is as evolution,” Henry said.

“We need to evolve to that next step. And we're only going to do that in concert with our community. It gets said a lot — but it's really true — we are the community and the community are the police. And if you look at it that way, these things don't seem like big mountains to climb.”

The term is six years.

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