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Duluth City Council approves new police chief

Mike Ceynowa's beginning annual salary as police chief will be $161,052.

Mike Ceynowa
Mike Ceynowa
Contributed / Duluth Police Department
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DULUTH — Mike Ceynowa, the lone finalist in the running to become the city's next police chief, was officially appointed to the post Monday night, when the City Council unanimously confirmed his contract.

Ceynowa is a 24-year veteran of the Duluth Police Department, most recently serving as its deputy chief of patrol.

That history with the local police force and the community should serve Ceynowa well, 1st District Councilor Gary Anderson predicted, saying: "I want to express my deep gratitude for your service, dedication and the sacrifices you and your family make on a daily basis."

"You are the right person at the right time to lead us in a good way," Anderson added.

Noting the great demands of leading a police department in this day and age, 2nd District Councilor Mike Mayou, said, "Thank you for stepping up and being willing to serve in this role."

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It wasn't so long ago that Duluth saw hundreds of applicants for open positions. But now the city is having to offer big pay and benefit boosts to avert critical shortages.

In an earlier statement, Mayor Emily Larson said, "I've worked with Mike as a trusted part of DPD's command staff for many years. He is thoughtful, inclusive and deeply committed to this community."

Larson ultimately selected Ceynowa for the job, naming him to succeed Chief Mike Tusken, who earlier announced his retirement. But the appointment and Ceynowa's contract required council approval. Ceynowa's beginning annual salary as police chief will be $161,052. His raises in future years on the job will be commensurate with those negotiated by collective bargaining units in the police department.

Under the terms of the contract approved Monday, Ceynowa would be eligible to receive severance pay equivalent to his salary for up to a year if he is removed from the job without "just cause" within the next three years. The Duluth police chief is considered an "at-will" position, with the person in that role serving at the pleasure of the mayor.

Ceynowa has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a master's degree in public safety executive leadership from St. Cloud State.

Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
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