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St. Paul police union President Dave Titus to join Ramsey County sheriff-elect’s team

December 14, 2018

St. Paul polices longtime union president, Dave Titus, will be joining the Ramsey County Sheriffs Office as a legislative liaison.

Ramsey County Sheriff-elect Bob Fletcher made the announcement Friday afternoon in a news release outlining the final appointments to his leadership team.

Titus joined St. Paul police in 1994, and has served as president of the St. Paul Police Federation for about 18 years, making a name for himself as a dogged advocate in labor relations and a defender of officers facing discipline.

Titus issued a written statement Friday saying he was proud of the federation, and that it was a very difficult decision to leave St. Paul.

It is time for another passionate, experienced and knowledgeable leader to serve our membership as president, he said. I look forward to my duties at the Sheriffs office

Titus tenure with the union has been marked by high praise among many officers who note his strong advocacy for colleagues.

It has also been marked by miscalculated moves that incurred pushback from the community and fellow officers.

Last year, Titus apologized for an open letter issued to then-mayoral candidate Melvin Carter questioning the circumstances of the theft of two guns from Carters home.

Carters campaign at the time rebuked Titus initial letter as racist; Carter is black.

In October, the federation sued Chief Todd Axtell in an attempt to restore officers right to mute their body cameras at certain times.

Earlier this year, Axtell changed the old policy, which had allowed muting in some circumstances, and banned it. The department also disabled the mute function on all of its body-worn cameras.

The federations presidency is up for election in January, and Titus and challenger Sgt. Matt Koncar were slated as the sole candidates for the office.

Titus said that his Ramsey County job opportunity came up after he had been nominated to run for re-election. Its unclear how his departure from St. Paul will impact the election.

Fletcher said he spoke to Titus about the job after Titus applied for it in late-November.

Dave has great relationships with people at the capital and in Congress, and were in need of someone that can help us with those legislative relationships, Fletcher said. Hes had a long history of advocating for both the needs of law enforcement officers and law enforcement in general.

Titus role will involve engaging with local, state and federal associations, but Fletcher said he expected the bulk of the work to occur at the state legislature.

Chao Xiong 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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