ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud's Chief of Police has announced his retirement.

During a news conference Friday morning, Chief Blair Anderson announced he will be stepping down from the department that he has led for 10 years.

He says over the past decade he has always tried to lead with compassion.

I believe this job should be treated with reverence because of the power we have as law enforcement officials.  We should be officious, we should not be oppressive, we should be respectful.

Anderson says he's grateful for the city of St. Cloud that embraced him as an outsider.

Photo by's Jim Maurice
Photo by's Jim Maurice

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis has also announced Friday that Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton will be promoted to Police Chief.

He says the philosophy of policing issues being community issues will continue under his watch.

We have become very good, especially under the leadership of Chief Anderson, at reaching out and engaging with a wonderful community of public safety partners, people in the private sector, and the public sector and that is where our power lies.

Oxton was first promoted to sergeant in 2006 and has risen through the ranks over the years. He is an Apollo graduate and received his master's degree from St. Cloud State University. He has been a member of the St. Cloud Police Department for 27 years.

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Kleis thanked Anderson for his 10 years of service to an 'extremely demanding job, especially over the past few years". His last day on the job will be November 30th.

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