Since being elected Mayor of Saint Paul, there are some events I will always remember. The Oath of Office Ceremony for Tom Smith was one of those events.
Despite talk of rain, the skies were clear and sunny over Harriet Island as the ceremony started Tuesday. The turnout for the event was amazing, with standing room only in the Wigington Pavilion.
It is interesting to note that Tom Smith is the 40th Police Chief of Saint Paul, a tradition that was started in the 1850’s when the City Council appointed the first police chief because they were upset with the Mayor, who was acting as police chief at the time.
It was an honor to swear in Tom Smith. I know as a son of Saint Paul, born and raised on the West Side, he has a deep understanding and passion for this City. Tom is the product of this department, and of this city. He was educated in Saint Paul, has raised his family in Saint Paul and was molded into the dedicated cop he is today in Saint Paul. It is this history that will make Tom Smith a great police chief.
The next Saint Paul Mayor, Police Chief, Fire Chief, or State Representative is being molded and shaped right now in our community. Chief Smith stands as a reminder that we all play a role in helping our youth achieve their dreams.
One of our most revered native sons, Charlie Brown, said it best when he said, “Few people are successful unless other people want them to be”
This was never more evident than when I announced that Chief Smith would be the new police chief at Humboldt – his alma mater - a few weeks ago. That day, Chief Smith showed every child in our community that regardless of their race, their country of origin, or the circumstances of their birth, they can do anything in our community, that they are the future of our community and that they can be successful because we want them to be.