Minnesota State Patrol head leaving agency after 10 years as chief

The head of the Minnesota State Patrol is leaving for a role with an international police association nonprofit.

Public safety officials announced Wednesday that Col. Matt Langer has accepted a job as the director of global policing with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which is based in Virginia.

Langer has been with the State Patrol for 25 years, including the past 10 as its chief. Before that, he served in a variety of roles with the department, including as a public information officer. He became a more public face of the State Patrol during the unrest following George Floyd’s murder, frequently providing operation updates with other state leaders.

During his time as head of the State Patrol, he advocated for the hands-free bill that was approved in 2019, signed a pledge to make the agency 30% women by 2030, grew the department’s internal peer support team and re-established a chaplaincy program. He also oversaw an increase in the usage of body-worn cameras, the agency’s use of Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) patrols and a partnership with the city of Minneapolis to crack down on violent crime and street racing.

“Beginning my career with the State Patrol was an easy decision — deciding to leave has been the opposite,” Langer said. “I am truly proud of the work our employees do every day and am honored to have been able to lead them for the past 10 years. Our greatest asset is the people within our organization and the millions of Minnesotans who support us in our work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“Col. Langer embodies what we expect and need from a law enforcement leader. He has always put people first, whether it’s the members of the State Patrol or families who are facing their worst day and grieving the loss of a loved one,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Bob Jacobson added. “He not only believes in the State Patrol’s core values, but he conducts every interaction with respect, integrity, courage, honor and excellence. Under Col. Langer’s guidance, the State Patrol has continued to exemplify professionalism, integrity and a dedication to keeping our roads safe.”

The state says Langer’s last day with the State Patrol will be April 2.

Lt. Col. Christina Bogojevic will serve as interim chief when he leaves until the agency’s next colonel is chosen. Jacobson says the search for Langer’s successor will start right away.

The agency has 917 employees, 656 of whom are uniform personnel.

“Col. Matt Langer’s dedication, compassion, and commitment to Minnesotans will leave a lasting impact on our state,” Gov. Tim Walz said. “He has been my first phone call during incredible challenges, and has been by our side to celebrate major accomplishments, including passage of the hands-free bill and making Minnesota’s roads among the safest in the country. I wish him the very best of luck and am excited to follow his successes in this new role.”