Longtime Minnesota State Fair Police Chief Art Blakey dies at 83

August 4, 2018

Art Blakey, the first black officer sworn into the Ramsey County Sheriffs Office and the long-serving police chief of the Minnesota State Fair, died Saturday morning. He was 83.

Blakeys death was confirmed by St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell on his Facebook page.

Blakey, who became the fairs chief of police in 1980, had his first job at the fair as a teenager in 1951. He retired from the police chief role last year.

On his Facebook post, Axtell called Blakey a Saint Paul original, a guardian in the truest sense and a good man.

He dedicated his life and career to making our community better, safer and more welcoming for everyone, Axtell wrote. He personified kindness, forgiveness and the best of what it means to be a law enforcement professional.

Blakey grew up in St. Pauls Rondo neighborhood, according to Axtell. He served in the U.S. Air Force and became a deputy sheriff for Ramsey County, retiring from the force in 2003.

He started working part time for the fairs police in 1970. I havent missed a fair since, he told the Star Tribune in 2012.

Miguel Otandaacute;rola 612-673-4753

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