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Col. Christina Bogojevic to lead Minnesota State Patrol, prioritizes traffic safety and diversity

A Minnesota State Patrol trooper blocks a road
A Minnesota State Patrol trooper blocks a road near an apartment complex Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Albert Lea.
Eric Johnson | Albert Lea Tribune

On Friday, 35 new members of the Minnesota State Patrol will take an oath and then start their career as state troopers.

The cadets began training several months ago at Camp Ripley in Little Falls. And in two weeks, the State Patrol will have a new chief: Col. Christina Bogojevic.

portrait of a woman in uniform
Interim Col. Christina Bogojevic is the new chief of the Minnesota State Patrol.
Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Bogojevic has served in law enforcement for more than 20 years, joining the State Patrol in 2003 and becoming second-in-command in December 2022. She is the second woman to be chief of the Minnesota State Patrol in its history, after Anne Beers.

As the State Patrol’s new leader, Bogojevic said she will focus on three areas. The first will be traffic safety, as fatalities in the state are up 42 percent from the same time last year.

“Sometimes we get too focused on the number and forget that these are family members and loved ones that won’t be coming home,” she said.

The second area of focus will be recruitment and retention — emphasizing women and people of color — and her third priority is supporting employees.

“We have 35 new cadets graduating today as troopers. We’ve tried some innovative ways to recruit with 30 by 30, which is the goal of having [a] 30 percent female workforce by the year 2030,” she said.

Even though the Patrol’s largest recruitment success comes from the troopers in the ranks, Bogojevic said they have been looking at high school athletic tournaments and taking part in some community events.

Bogojevic hopes that having a woman at the helm might inspire more women to start a career in law enforcement.

“I hope that I‘m able to get out to some of those recruitment events and just talk about how great being a state trooper is,” she said.

The Minnesota State Patrol has been in the spotlight after George Floyd’s murder in 2020 and because of the ongoing legal situation with Trooper Ryan Londregan, who fatally shot Ricky Cob II last year. It also has faced legal trouble over its treatment of protesters and journalists.

Bogojevic said repairing relations and trust between the community and law enforcement is a collaborative effort between both parties, and she aims to make sure all work together for a safer environment.

“We know we can’t do this alone,” she said.

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