MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL – Longtime Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) police officer Mike Everson has been selected as the airport’s new police chief beginning March 1, 2014. He will replace Interim Police Chief Merlin Tolsma, who is retiring. “For more than 25 years, Mike Everson has worked to protect the safety of those who visit, travel through or work at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport,” said Metropolitan Airports Commission Executive Director and CEO Jeff Hamiel. “Mike was instrumental in developing a robust security plan for MSP in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 2001 and has established himself as a national leader in airport law enforcement. I am pleased to have someone of Mike’s caliber to serve as MSP’s next chief of police.” As police chief, Everson will oversee a department that includes 100 full- and part-time sworn officers divided among several law enforcement divisions, including Patrol, Aviation Security, Professional Standards, Special Services and Investigations. The department has award-winning explosives detection and narcotics interdiction K-9 teams, motorized and bicycle patrols, a robust Airport Watch program, and membership on the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. All MSP officers are trained in behavior detection techniques. In addition, the department includes community service officers who direct traffic in front of MSP’s terminals, emergency communications dispatchers and administrative staff. “Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is a community unto itself, housing dozens of businesses, nearly 20,000 workers and a transient population of more than 33 million travelers a year,” Everson said. “One of my goals as police chief will be to strengthen relationships and communications with our federal partners, airport workers, travelers and the communities around the airport. The more we work together and coordinate our efforts, the better we can safeguard all who use this busy public facility.” The MSP Airport Police Department conducts law enforcement activities throughout the 3,400-acre MSP campus that includes 3.3 million square feet of terminal space. The department patrols roadways in and around the airport campus. Airport police also provide law enforcement support to communities around the airport through mutual aid agreements. In 2013, the Airport Police Department received nearly 53,000 calls for service. Everson has worked for the Metropolitan Airports Commission since 1988, beginning as a community service officer. He became a police officer at the airport in 1994 and swiftly rose through the ranks, becoming sergeant in 1999, lieutenant in 2002, commander in 2005 and deputy chief in 2013. Along with his other duties, Everson has served as the aviation security director for MSP since 2002. In addition, Everson serves on the Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network (ALEAN) Board of Directors, the National Safe Skies Alliance and the Airports Council International-North America Public Safety and Security Steering Committee. He holds an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Inver Hills Community College and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Minnesota. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s 116th Administrative Officer’s Course at the University of Louisville.