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Hastings own Tina McNamara is in the running for the St. Paul Police Chief position

Hastings native Tina McNamara is one of five finalists in the running for the position of St. Paul Police Chief.

McNamara, who is currently senior commander of the St. Paul police homicide and robbery unit, could possibly be the first woman in the history of St. Paul to receive the position.

After joining the force 23 years ago, McNamara said that she wants to implement change with the new position, if received. A big goal of hers is to improve the mental health policies and create a unit partnered with mental health professionals that is staffed 24 hours a day.

“I really believe I can make a change,” she said. “I’ve had so many opportunities from the city of St. Paul I want to give back, but I’m also well qualified and I want to share what I’ve learned and I want to continue to be able to help the youth that have struggled in our city.”

McNamara said she comes from a family of public service. Her mother was a 30-year school teacher in St. Paul. Her father was the parks and recreation director for the city of Hastings for at least 30 years, and her sister is currently a special education teacher at Hastings High School.

While the next step in the process includes meetings and an interview with Mayor Chris Coleman, McNamara believes that she understands the troubles that some people face in the community such as race, gender and poverty, making her qualified for the position.

“I am committed to carrying on the Department’s legacy of pride, professionalism and partnerships, and further enhancing trust and teamwork with everyone who lives, works and plays in Saint Paul,” McNamara stated in her cover letter for the position.