Cotton, Lantry, to chair the St. Paul committee to recommend police chief candidates

A former head of St. Paul City Council and a longtime city resident with ties to the Rondo neighborhood have been named co-chairs of the committee that will nominate candidates for the city’s next police chief.

On Wednesday, the St. Paul City Council announced that Kathy Lantry and Sasha Cotton will co-chair the police chief’s review panel.

Cotton is a lifelong resident of St. Paul with ties to the Rondo/Summit University neighborhood. She is currently director of the Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention, which is responsible for coordinating violence prevention initiatives and working with communities throughout Minneapolis.

Cotton has also worked at the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community at the University of Minnesota and Violence Free Minnesota – the state Coalition on Domestic Violence. She currently represents Minnesota on the US Commission on Civil Rights and is Vice President of the African American Leadership Council.

Lantry represented District 7 on the St. Paul City Council for almost 18 years and has been Council President for the last 11 years. Former Mayor Chris Coleman appointed Lantry Director of Public Works in March 2015. Mayor Melvin Carter later asked her to remain in office. Lantry retired in March 2020.

Lantry is a lifelong East Sider. Her two sons and their wives also live in St. Paul. She has 3 grandchildren.

The Council expects to appoint the remaining committee members later this month. After 30 days of advertising for the position by the city’s human resources department, the committee proposes five candidates from the pool of applicants to the mayor.

Carter will choose the next police chief from among these candidates.

To learn more about the committee’s work, please visit

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