Anne Beers, a 21-year veteran of the Minnesota State Patrol, was appointed chief on Friday. She is the first woman to head Minnesota’s State Patrol, and the second woman in the country to hold the position (Chief Annette Sandberg of Washington state is the other).
When she began in 1966, there were only three women in her class of officers. Now, there are 36 women in the 503-person division.
In recent years, men in the Patrol have been accused of sexual harassment and rape. She says she will take those issues seriously, but is focusing more on her legislative agenda, which includes more troopers and harsher drunk-driving and seatbelt laws.
Many of her colleagues emphasize her experience and ability more than her gender. “She was the best for the job and she proved it,” said Sgt. Kris Arneson, president of the Minnesota Association of Women Police.