Metro Transit Police
Meet the Chief: John Harrington
John Harrington was sworn in as the seventh Chief of Metro Transit Police in September 2012. Harrington began his law enforcement career in 1977 with the St. Paul Police Department. In 2004, he became the 39th Chief of Police for the City of St. Paul, where he served until 2010. In November of that year, he was elected to represent District 67 in the Minnesota State Senate.
In 2012, Harrington resigned from the senate and also stepped down as CEO of Ujamaa Place - a not-for-profit agency he helped to launch that works with African-American men in St. Paul to transition them out of prison or gangs into productive community members. Harrington continues to serve as board chair for Ujamaa Place.
Chief Harrington was named Transit Professional of the Year by the Minnesota Public Transit Association in 2015.
As St. Paul Police Chief, Harrington tackled some of the city's most difficult problems, resulting in numerous successes, including the development of innovative programs that greatly reduced domestic violence and gang involvement. He also increased the diversity of the police department by 40 percent and worked with the private sector to increase police resources.
From 1985 to 1997, Harrington also served the Metro Transit Police department in various capacities. At the time, Metro Transit relied on part-time law enforcement officers from metro-area municipalities to serve the agency’s law enforcement needs.
Aside from his law enforcement career, Chief Harrington has been a faculty member at Metropolitan State University since 1986, teaching Community Oriented Policing and Gangs. He also serves on a variety of community boards including Metropolitan State University, DeLaSalle High School, the Minnesota Humanities Commission and the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute.
He attended DeLaSalle High School in Chicago, received his Bachelor of Arts Degree at Dartmouth College in Religion with a minor in Chinese, and earned a Masters Degree from the University of St. Thomas in Education. He has also graduated from the FBI National Academy, the National Executive Institute and the Police Executive Research Forum.
In October 2015, Harrington was recognized by the Minnesota Public Transit Association as Transit Professional of the Year for his efforts to grow and diversify the department and for strengthening its commitment to community-oriented policing.
Chief Harrington resides in St. Paul’s East Side where he is active with the YMCA. He also is a sponsor of Minnesota RollerGirls, studies karate and martial arts and enjoys spending time with his seven children and seven grandchildren.
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