Release: Harrington Named New Metro Transit Police Chief

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Former St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington Returns to Law Enforcement

Harrington named Metro Transit Police Chief

Contact:           Meredith Salsbery    651.602.1518

(ST. PAUL—Aug. 27, 2012)  Metropolitan Council Regional Administrator Pat Born has tapped former St. Paul Police Chief and current Minnesota Senator John Harrington to serve as the next Metro Transit Chief of Police. Harrington served as chief of the St. Paul Police Department from 2004 to 2010, though his service with the department goes back more than 30 years. He was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2010.  

Harrington replaces former Chief Dave Indrehus, who retired in January.  Deputy Chief A.J. Olson will continue to serve as Acting Chief until Harrington assumes his duties Sept. 4.

“I’m thrilled to bring John on board as chief,” said Born. “John is deeply knowledgeable about law enforcement.  He is a demonstrated and experienced leader. And, having served with Metro Transit Police for more than a decade, he is familiar with policing transit.  I have every confidence that John will continue the Council’s commitment to a safe and secure transit system.”

Harrington served the Metro Transit Police Department in various capacities from 1985 to 1997.  At the time, Metro Transit relied on part-time law enforcement officers from metro-area municipalities to serve the agency’s law enforcement needs. Today, the Metro Transit Police Department has about 69 full-time officers and 55 part-time officers who ride along on buses and trains, checking in with operators and customers, patrol transit routes and waiting areas and inspect fares on the Hiawatha (Blue Line) and Northstar trains.

“I’m deeply honored by this appointment and look forward to working with peace officers and command staff to ensure a smooth transition,” said Harrington. “The Metro Transit Police Department has a demonstrated commitment to protecting the public and ensuring a safe environment for our riders and the drivers. Harrington said working in partnership to solve problems is key not only to public safety, but to keeping the peace in the many communities served by transit.

“Metro Transit police are a vital component of our bus and rail service,” said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb. “Just as safety is critical to community vitality, John Harrington well understands that a safe system is critical to ridership and a healthy, vibrant and growing transit system.”

Metro Transit PD is engaged in partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and community organizations, such as MADDADS, to maximize effective policing and improve the department’s ability to respond to community concerns.

The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization in the seven-county metropolitan area. The Council runs the regional bus and light rail system and Northstar commuter rail, collects and treats wastewater, coordinates regional water resources, plans regional parks and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. The Council board is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.