St. Paul police chief Todd Axtell takes strong stance in defending police

'It makes no sense' Axtell on defunding and dismantling

Hey, it's Cory Hepola
September 16, 2020 - 8:04 am
Saint Paul Police

Mark Freie/Entercom


St. Paul police chief Todd Axtell believes his department is ahead of the curve when it comes to police reform.

Axtell told WCCO's Cory Hepola on Tuesday morning that reform in his department goes

"We've been doing this for the last four years," Axtell said. "We have continual implicit bias training, crisis intervention training, de-escalation training, communicate our expectations on uses of force, and the duty to intervene. This is annual training and not one-time, check-the-box and be done with it training." 

Axtell says St. Paul police will continue to lead the way in those reforms.

"There's no police department in the world that is perfect and there is no police department in the world that can't improve," said Axtell. 

The killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of police this year have renewed calls from the public to defund and dismantle police departments across the nation.

"It makes no sense," Axtell said. "To imply that you don't need good policing throughout the country is just absolutely nonsense. I love to have conversations with people who bring up that ridiculous idea to think that we can live in a society without good police officers protecting our communities every day."

Police have warned the public about the growing gun violence in St. Paul this year where 23 homicides have been reported.


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