Duluth police chief job posted; selection expected in fall

A series of public meetings will be held across the city, including one with the finalists before a selection is made.

Tusken talks into microphone at podium
Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken holds a plaque listing the names of all of the police chiefs that served for the department during a press conference announcing his retirement at the Public Safety Building on June 8 in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — The city on Friday started accepting applications for its soon-to-be-open police chief job, indicating an appointment is likely to made in September.

Mike Tusken will retire as head of the Duluth Police Department on Aug. 1 and take on a new role as law enforcement program coordinator at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, he announced last month. Tusken has led the agency since early 2016.

The "trusted, steady leader" of the department since 2016, Tusken said he hopes to inspire a new generation of law enforcement officers at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

The new chief must "provide strong and clear leadership to our Police Department, while ensuring the safety and health of over 86,000 residents and upholding community-minded values of transparency, inclusivity, collaboration and communication," the job posting says. Applications will be accepted through July 31.

City officials said they will also host several public meetings to receive feedback and answer questions from community members. Initial meetings will be held in eastern and central locations in July, followed by candidate review and interviews in August. Finalists will then appear at another public session in a western location around early September.

Exact dates and locations will be released at a later time, the city said, and the entire timeline is subject to change as the search progresses.


Mayor Emily Larson has exclusive authority to appoint the chief, though it is subject to City Council confirmation. Because the process will extend past Tusken's retirement date, an interim chief is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

With a 2022 budget of $26.2 million, the Duluth Police Department includes approximately 158 sworn officers and 40 support staff across patrol, investigation and administrative divisions. There have been 36 chiefs in the agency's 152-year history.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or
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