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DULUTH — The Duluth City Council on Monday approved Mayor Emily Larson's choice to lead the city's Police Department.

Mike Ceynowa, a 24-year veteran of the department, will replace Mike Tusken, who retired this summer after serving six years as chief and more than 30 years with the force.

The council vote was unanimous.

Council Member Gary Anderson expressed "deep gratitude" to Ceynowa for committing to the role.

"You are the right person at the right time to lead this department and lead us in a good way," he said.

Ceynowa's base salary is $161,052. He most recently served as deputy of the patrol division and has served as its professional standards lieutenant. He has a master's degree in public safety leadership from St. Cloud State University.

Ceynowa said earlier this month that his top priorities are addressing staff shortages and hiring and retaining officers with diverse backgrounds.

Ceynowa, 48, grew up in Fridley, where a lot of his neighbors worked in public service. He said he was drawn to the position for the same reason he has enjoyed coaching youth sports — the opportunity to help develop and mentor new staff.

He beat out five other applicants for the position, both internal and external.

Deputy Chief Laura Marquardt served as interim police chief during the hiring process — the first time a woman has held that role within the department.

The Police Department has 158 officers, with an annual budget this year of $26 million.