Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell plans to leave his position

Paul Schnell

Near the beginning of February, Paul Schnell, 55, Maplewood’s public safety director and police chief, told city officials of his plans to retire from his position. 

He has been serving as Maplewood police chief since July 2013, and previously was the Hastings police chief. Prior to that he was as a member of the St. Paul police force and a deputy sheriff for Carver County.

Schnell said in a recent interview that he had been planning for a while that he would retire near the end of 2017, but he explained he notified the city now because it takes so long for a replacement to be hired.

“There’s no date set or anything like that,” Schnell said. “The interests were to try to coordinate a transition.”

On Feb. 6, the Maplewood Police Civil Service Commission discussed the job posting and recruitment process.

During his time in Maplewood, Schnell was promoted from chief of police to director of public safety, and it was Mike Funk’s recommendation during the meeting that the city hire someone who can take on the public safety director role right away. Funk is the city’s assistant city manager and director of human resources.

Schnell presented a proposal to the city regarding how to recruit his replacement, but city staff are also consulting with other cities to see what other recruitment methods may be options.

Funk expects the hiring process to take at least five months.

“The city is going to start the recruitment process in probably the next three weeks or so,” Schnell speculated in an interview.

He also noted that it is common in the law enforcement field for people to retire around age 55, although he added, “I’m still young enough that I’ll be doing something, but I’m not sure what that is going to be yet.”


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