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Longtime St. Anthony Police officer Jeff Spiess has been named the new chief of the St. Anthony Police Department.

Spiess, who has been with the department for 25 years, succeeds former Chief Jon Mangseth, who worked for the department for nearly three decades and retired in January.

Spiess grew up in northeast Minneapolis and has worked with the St. Anthony Police Department since 1995, when he was a volunteer police reserve officer while in school. In 1998, he was hired on full time. In his tenure, he served as an officer and sergeant before being promoted to captain in 2016. He also worked as a DARE officer and community engagement officer.

St. Anthony has always felt like a good fit, Spiess said.

"I've had the opportunity to see and be a part of a department that has a great culture. And I think that's what attracts candidates to a department of our size," he said.

Generally a quiet city, St. Anthony and its police department gained national and international attention in 2016, when then-officer Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed Black motorist Philando Castile during a Falcon Heights traffic stop.

"The department's always been a very good police department and there was a very tragic shooting that occurred, and we've taken opportunities when they're given to us and also proactively to grow and get better," Spiess said.

Spiess listed changes the department has undertaken since 2016, including a U.S. Department of Justice collaborative reform initiative, the institution of body-worn cameras and improvements in transparency, including providing information about traffic stops and a detailed annual use of force report on its website.

Spiess said that like police departments across the country, St. Anthony faces recruitment and retention challenges. In response, St. Anthony has created a recruitment team to identify people entering the profession who might be a good fit, employ them part-time, help pay their way through school and hire them afterwards. So far, one cadet has graduated through the program and become and officer and another student is in the program, he said.

"We're planning for the future, so when we find great candidates, even if we don't necessarily have an opening, we want to have the ability to hire them early on," he said.

St. Anthony's police department also polices nearby Lauderdale. Falcon Heights is exploring a reinstatement of its policing partnership with St. Anthony, which was ended after Castile's death.

Spiess will be sworn in Feb. 13.