ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced Wednesday morning that Deputy Chief Jeremy Ellison will take over as the city’s interim police chief in June.

Ellison has been with the department for more than two decades. He said he will not seek the permanent chief job.

Jeremy Ellison (credit: CBS)

“We have a police department that is deeply connected to the people of our city, and more than anything, that is why I am so excited and honored to have been chosen for this important role,” Ellison said.

Current Chief Todd Axtell is retiring in June. He’s been with the St. Paul Police Department since 1989 and was appointed chief in 2016.

Carter said he hopes to have a permanent chief appointed by late summer or early fall.

“As I considered a leader to help usher our department forward while this process proceeds, we’ve not had to look far thanks to the strong team of leaders within our police department,” Carter said. “Deputy Chief Ellison’s two decades of service reflect a broad array of assignments that he’s been called to serve in, and has excelled in every single one.”

“The task we have before us is to ensure a smooth transition as well as ensure a continuation of that strong legacy of leadership that we have in that community,” Carter said. “We need someone who understands policing of the future, not just policing of the past.”

Axtell and Assistant Chief Robert Thomasser, who is also retiring, are planning to start a law enforcement consulting business.

Axtell told WCCO in March that he has no plans to leave the city he’s served for so long.

“You’re gonna see me in this coffee shop, you’re gonna see me up at Hmongtown and in the grocery stores and business to make this city better,” Axtell said. “I look forward to making the world better as a citizen.”

Adam Duxter