Jul 17, 2012 at 8:33 am
ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) – Admitting that some may see it as corny, St. Cloud's new police chief said his reasoning for being in law enforcement goes back to the simple fact that it is an honor to put on the uniform and serve others.
Now, starting August 27, Blair Anderson will bring that passion for his job to St. Cloud as the city's new top cop.
"I am fired up. Once you get to know me, you'll know that is the standard for me, that is the norm," Anderson said. "It is my absolute privilege to serve other people. I am looking forward to working with this fantastic group of men and women here."
Along with his passion for law enforcement, Anderson brings more than 15 years of experience to the job. He will leave his latest job as a chief deputy in the Carver County Sheriff's department to take on his new role in St. Cloud. The Detroit native began his career with a 15 year stint in the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.
Mayor Dave Kleis announced the hire on Monday night and said he knew the time at the county level gives Anderson a valuable skill set needed for the job in St. Cloud.
"People have heard me many times talk about the regional nature of law enforcement in this area, the fact that we are in three counties and we have a number of police departments," Kleis said. "That regional aspect is important, and I think it is important that we have that connection and Blair certainly is experienced in that and will go a long way in that respect."
As for what residents can expect from the department under the new chief Anderson said the police force will not be tough spot.
"We will be visible, they will not have to look for us and we will not show up only when there is trouble," Anderson said. "I am really looking forward to moving forward with this police department in this city."
When it comes to his management of the department Anderson said visibility again is a key.
"I like to manage from in front of my desk, not behind it. So if you're looking for me in the office all the time, you probably won't find me there. But I won't be hard to find," Anderson said. "I like to get out, I like to meet people, and I like to connect with people, because that is how we solve problems."
The original interest in the position for Anderson came from a combination of factors including St. Cloud's two-year-old police headquarters that Anderson referred to as "an absolute Taj Mahal." But more than just his new office, Anderson has repeatedly been impressed by the progressive nature of St. Cloud.
"I didn't have much of an occasion to come to St. Cloud. But every time I did there was something new, which tells me this is a burgeoning and a thriving city," Anderson said. "That also tells me how committed the leaders of this city are to letting it prosper...I want to be a part of that."
Anderson will replace Dennis Ballentine who retired in January after 10 years as chief. A 14 member search committee waded through a long list of candidates to fill the vacancy before handing over three finalists to Kleis who made the ultimate decision.