Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington was celebrated as one of the state’s top law enforcement leaders by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association this week.
Harrington received the association’s Richard W. Schaller Award, which recognizes service to the community and the profession. Harrington accepted the award at the association’s Executive Training Institute in St. Cloud.
Association leaders applauded Harrington’s efforts to encourage diversity in law enforcement, improve police-community relations and “shine an analytical light on daily practices.”
“When it comes to advancing 21st Century policing issues, few chiefs have been more dedicated or have garnered more results than Chief Harrington,” said Hugo McPhee, the association’s immediate past president and Chief of Police for the Three Rivers Park District.
Harrington became Metro Transit’s seventh Police Chief in 2012. He previously served as the Police Chief for the City of St. Paul and as a Minnesota State Senator.
Under Harrington’s leadership, the Metro Transit Police Department has expanded to more than 100 full-time officers, nearly a third of whom come from underrepresented communities and backgrounds. The department has also greatly expanded its community outreach efforts.
As an active association member, Harrington helped explore ways chiefs could improve the hiring process and help build departments that reflect the communities they service.
Harrington has also served on the association’s legislative committee, advocating for policies that would reduce domestic and gang violence, provide better responses to human trafficking and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
“This award is really about the work that the women and men of our department have done,” Harrington said. “It is gratifying to know my colleagues saw the things we’re doing at Metro Transit as being of benefit to the profession, the Chief’s association and the statewide community we all serve.”
In 2015, Harrington was recognized as the Transit Professional of the Year by the Minnesota Public Transit Association.
> Meet the Chief
> Officer of the year recognized for 'servant leadership'
> Awards and Recognition