Contact Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken at 730-5020.
- Member for
- 4 years 11 months
It is with a very heavy heart I greet you this week. This month, law enforcement has lost seven police officers due to ambush-style assassinations. These cowardly and senseless acts of violence appear to be fueled by police shootings in Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn., in which the investigations continue into the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile. As a nation, we need to seek and find peace. We need to be deliberate and intentional in looking for opportunities to come together, not apart.
The most common citizen complaints we receive regard speeding and poor driving habits. In the summer, complaints about speeding tend to tick up a few notches. People are outside more often and with our children at play, we all have a sense of hypervigilance and pay extra attention to vehicle travel and driver caution ... or lack of caution. Traffic safety has always been a priority for me. Traffic safety/enforcement at one time in my career was something officers did on a voluntary basis. Some officers were passionate about it while others had little interest.
Earlier this month, law enforcement officers from across the country honored our fallen brothers and sisters in law enforcement through ceremonies nationwide for Law Enforcement Memorial Week (May 15-21). Here in Duluth, we were no exception. Every year during this week we celebrate by having the local law enforcement community come together to join in a luncheon and remember those in our profession who gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting and serving their communities.
In June of 2015, the Duluth Police Department and the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Department began a new initiative together. Many times, the services include referrals for mental health services. The embedded social worker concept was created out of necessity to address the increasing demands on police to intervene in calls involving mental health issues. The Duluth Police Department responds to 50 percent more mental health calls today than we did in 2007.
In 1992, Mayor Gary Doty appointed Chief Scott Lyons to usher a community policing philosophy into the Duluth Police Department. This meant changing officers' roles as call responders, bouncing from district to district, to working only in assigned neighborhoods.
Hello! My name is Mike Tusken. I have been appointed by Mayor Emily Larson to lead the Duluth Police Department during the search for a new chief of police. I have served the citizens of Duluth for 24 years, with the last nine-plus as the patrol division deputy chief. Former Chief Gordon Ramsay's articles in the Budgeteer were very popular and well received, so I intend to continue to update the community on police operations.