Ex-St. Paul police chief named DPS assistant commissioner

A former St. Paul police chief has been named an assistant commissioner within the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Thomas Smith started as the assistant commissioner for law enforcement on Wednesday, according to DPS. He replaces Booker Hodges, who recently took over as the police chief in Bloomington.

Smith has worked in law enforcement for 39 years, including 27 years with the St. Paul Police Department. He retired from the St. Paul Police Department in 2016 after serving as the chief of police for six years.

Smith succeeded current DPS Commissioner John Harrington as the St. Paul police chief. Harrington ran the department from 2004-2010. Smith took over from 2010 until Cheif Axtell took the reigns in 2016.

Since leaving the police department, Smith has worked for the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, which helps with police training for community relations, bias and leadership. The DPS says he currently serves as the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA) statewide director of training.

“Tom brings decades of law enforcement and criminal justice experience to this important leadership role at the Department of Public Safety,” DPS Commissioner John Harrington said in a statement. “He has a history of building relationships between the community and police, which is critically important, now more than ever.”

Smith’s new role oversees the Minnesota State Patrol, BCA and the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division.