Mark Elliott

Mark Elliott, who joined the Northfield Police Department as deputy chief of police in spring 2019, was selected to succeed Police Chief Monte Nelson when Nelson retires next month. (News file photo)

The Northfield City Council on Tuesday night unanimously confirmed Mark Elliott as police chief.

Elliott was the only finalist for the position. He was recommended for the position by Northfield City Administrator Ben Martig last month. Elliott will replace current Police Chief Monte Nelson once he retires July 31.

“I believe Mark Elliott is an excellent fit,” Martig said.

“It’s a great choice,” added Northfield City Councilor Brad Ness.

Fellow Councilor Jessica Peterson White said she spoke with Elliott Thursday, calling the meeting “long and substantive.” She said from that discussion, she supports hiring Elliott because he seems committed to community policing and collaborating with others. She said Elliott appears to be a good leader, is open-minded and will help the department grow.

In a letter to City Administrator Ben Martig, Elliott said he has 14 years of experience as a supervisor with training experience and directing police work.

“There are great opportunities for me to lead the Police Department and the staff to meet the challenges presented in achieving 21st-century policing success within a vibrant and engaged community,” Elliott said. “I have the knowledge and ability to continue and enhance the proactive programs already in place, and assist in developing new ones.”

Martig conducted interviewed Elliott the week of May 25. According to the administrator, Elliott shared a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, including proactive efforts to increase diversity in the Police Department by hiring women and people of color.

Martig noted over the last year that Elliott has proposed and started a contract with the company Lexipol to re-write the Northfield Police Department manual, helped with emergency management work during COVID-19, and participated in media discussions, including radio programs.

A Minnesota native, Elliott started his law enforcement career with a two-year stretch as a community service officer in Brooklyn Park. He followed that with a 22-year tenure as a Bloomington police officer, working his way from an officer to detective before becoming a sergeant. He finished his career there as a commander leading the Professional Standards Division.

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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