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Council votes for Derek Randall as new Cloquet police chief

Interim chief gets vote of confidence from council, citizen panel after nationwide search


May 29, 2020

After months of searching and almost an entire day of interviews, Cloquet has a new but not-so-new police chief.

Cloquet city councilors voted 6-1 to hire interim police chief Derek Randall as their permanent police chief following a nationwide search.

A panel of nine community members interviewed the three finalist candidates Tuesday morning, then the council conducted interviews via teleconference in the afternoon. Candidates included Randall along with Troy Bacon, the police chief in Franklin, Indiana, and Eric Klang, police chief in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.

Following the interviews and an update on the citizen feedback from consultant Sharon Klumpp, councilors discussed their top candidates, with six of seven voting for Randall and/or Bacon as their top two candidates, with more favoring Randall. Steve Langley was alone with Klang first, Bacon second and Randall third.

City administrator Tim Peterson said Randall was also his first choice.

“In the brief time since I’ve come here, I’ve seen a great deal of Derek Randall’s ability to work through difficult times, including a homicide and COVID-19,” Peterson said, also pointing out that Randall is well-known and respected in the community, and his hire would mean a quicker adjustment period for the police department. Additionally, he said, Randall already has the respect of the officers, even if they don’t always agree.

“Bacon is phenomenal, but we have a great candidate in front of us,” Peterson said. “In my mind, Derek Randall is the choice.”

Read more of this story in the next issue of the Pine Knot News, on newsstands June 4.


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