St. Paul narrows police chief prospects to five

(l-r) Stacy Murphy, Axel Henry, Jacqueline Bailey-Davis, Kurtis Hallstrom and Pamela Barragan
Credit: Courtesy of the city of St. Paul; Jacqueline Bailey-Davis photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Police Department.

The city of St. Paul has announced the names of five candidates who are being considered as the next St. Paul police chief. The public will have the opportunity to learn more about them this week. 

Four of the five candidates currently serve with the department. They are Pamela Barragan, Kurtis Hallstrom, Axel Henry, and Stacy Murphy. All of the officers have some form of complaints filed against them, according to records obtained from the Communities United Against Police Brutality database. 

Barragan joined the department in 1996 and currently works to foster partnerships with other government agencies and organizations. She has one complaint dating back to 2000, which involved an “improper procedure” and was sustained. She was given an oral reprimand. 

Hallstrom joined the department in 1999 and is a senior commander for the Eastern District, which includes much of the East Side. He has three complaints dating to the early 2000s, of which one involving “improper procedure” was sustained. For that, he was given an oral reprimand.  

Henry joined the department in 1998 and currently commands the Narcotics, Financial Intelligence, and Human Trafficking Division. He has four complaints, most of which date to his early days as a St. Paul police officer. Two complaints concerning him following “improper procedure” were sustained, with a complaint in 1999 resulting in a written reprimand, and another complaint in 2002 resulting in an oral reprimand. One complaint from 2003 was closed. 

In 2011, Henry and some 40 officers received complaints for improperly using the state drivers’ license database to look people up. A site called “Minnesota Creeper Cops” says he used the database for this purpose seven times. A St. Paul spokesperson said the complaint was unsubstantiated and closed.

Murphy joined in 2002 and is currently the assistant chief of police, which involves overseeing police and civilian staff as well as volunteers. She has no complaints.  

The fifth candidate, Dr. Jacqueline Bailey-Davis, works at the Philadelphia Police Department as a police staff inspector in the Standards and Accountability Division and Audits, which evaluates police misconduct against department policies and procedures among some of its tasks. 

She also appeared to lead efforts to respond to the Department of Justice’s allegations against the police department around using force. Representatives from the city of Philadelphia did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Community members can meet candidates on October 11 at 6 pm at Washington Technology Magnet School on Rice Street in the city’s North End neighborhood, or October 12 at 11:30 am at the St. Paul Events Center at 400 Wabasha, Suite 320. The city says both events will be live-streamed on its Facebook page. 

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Council began soliciting applications for the chief of Metro Transit Police after its chief, Eddie Frizell, left to become a U.S. Marshall for the District of Minnesota. Applications are due October 16. 

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