Police Chief Mike Tusken was born and raised in Duluth, MN. He grew up in the city’s Morgan Park neighborhood and graduated from Duluth Denfeld High School. He is honored to serve as the Police Chief in his hometown, a place where he has generations of family and friends.
Chief Tusken is passionate about working with community members to preserve the safety of Duluth by leading the department based on the philosophy of community policing. His vision for community policing focuses on the importance of building strong relationships with the citizens of Duluth and serving them in a respectful, caring, and selfless manner. Those relationships serve as the foundation of the partnership between police and citizens to prevent crime and disorder through innovative problem-solving strategies.
Chief Tusken enthusiastically embraces the concept that the community empowers police to serve them and only together in trust can we enhance safety and quality of life. This philosophy is the social contract theory of policing. Chief Tusken says, “The community is our strength. The safety in the community is proportionate to the scope and significance of the relationships we foster in our neighborhoods.”
Chief Tusken has served the citizens of Duluth since 1992. He's moved up ranks within the Duluth Police Department, starting as a Patrol Officer, Juvenile Investigator, Patrol Sergeant, Investigative Sergeant, Lieutenant/Area Commander, and Patrol Deputy Chief. In May of 2016, Mayor Emily Larson appointed him to the position of Police Chief.
During his tenure serving the citizens of Duluth, Chief Tusken is responsible for developing the COMPSTAT Program, working collaboratively on developing an assessment tool (JDAI) to reduce juvenile incarceration rates of children of color, creating a performance management system, and developing innovative approaches for engaging his staff in community policing. These programs are responsible for building strong relationships within the community and reducing crime.
Chief Tusken serves on the Executive Board for the Minnesota Police Chief’s Association and serves as an appointee on the Ensuring Police Excellence and Improving Community Relations Advisory Council to the Minnesota Police Officers Standards and Training Board. Chief Tusken is also an adjunct instructor of community policing to students seeking careers in the criminal justice system. Chief Tusken is happily married and has three children.