ST. PAUL (AP) -- A lawmaker and inspector for the Minneapolis police department is Minnesota's new "top cop."
On Thursday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty named Rich Stanek of Maple Grove the new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, a position with responsibility over the State Patrol and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
"Governor Pawlenty didn't appointment me to be shy and timid," Stanek said during a news conference. "He appointed me to do a good job on behalf of the people of Minnesota, and I'm going to do that."
Stanek, who is resigning from the House and taking a leave from the Minneapolis police, will also serve as the state's director of Homeland Security.
Pawlenty also on Thursday named attorney James Cunningham Jr. to head the state's Bureau of Mediation Services and Velma Korbel to head the Department of Human Rights.
The news of Stanek's appointment drew strong approval from police and fire chiefs, but notes of caution from civil liberties activists.
"He's a cop's cop," said Veid Muiznieks, chief of police for the city of Newport, who worked with Stanek when he was a rookie officer in Cottage Grove. "He also knows how the government works and that's important."
Muiznieks described Stanek as a by-the-book officer.
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