Matt Markham Appointed Columbia Heights Police Chief

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Matt Markham Appointed Columbia Heights Police Chief

Mayor Amáda Márquez Simula has appointed Matt Markham as the next Police Chief for Columbia Heights, Minnesota. Markham will be officially sworn in as the 12th Columbia Heights Police Chief on Friday, April 26.Matt Markham Headshot

“As Mayor of Columbia Heights, it is my privilege and honor to announce Matt Markham as the City’s next Police Chief,” Márquez Simula said. “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to him on his appointment as our new Police Chief. I thank him for his past contributions to our City and eagerly anticipate his continued dedication. Matt's inclusive approach and visionary leadership make him the ideal candidate to lead our police department.”

A member of the Columbia Heights Police Department since 1998, Markham brings over 25 years of experience to the role of Columbia Heights Police Chief. Most recently, Markham served as Police Captain since 2018. In his time with Columbia Heights, he has developed a wealth of experience in community policing, training, recruitment, and mentorship.

“First off, I’d like to thank Mayor Márquez Simula and the community for their due diligence during the interview process,” Markham said. “I’m honored and proud to be named the next Police Chief of Columbia Heights. I’m looking forward to building upon the positive relationships established in Columbia Heights. I can’t wait to continue working with staff, elected officials, and community members to make Columbia Heights a place for everyone.”

Markham has three degrees in law enforcement: an Associate of Science in law enforcement from Rochester Community College, a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, law enforcement, and correction tracks from Winona State University, and a Master of Arts in public safety and law enforcement leadership from the University of St. Thomas.

Under the Columbia Heights City Charter, the Police Chief reports to Mayor Márquez Simula. Ultimately, the decision to hire a Police Chief is Mayor Márquez Simula’s, but in this hiring process, the Mayor invited members of Columbia Heights’ diverse community to be involved throughout the interview process. Additionally, the Mayor wanted feedback from all community members on their preferred qualities for the next Police Chief, and this was achieved through an online survey in English and Spanish.

The Columbia Heights Police Department is nationally recognized for its community policing efforts and embedded social worker program. Chief Markham will oversee 31 sworn police officers, seven community service officers, and five support staff members.

Markham will replace Police Chief Lenny Austin, who will retire from Columbia Heights on Friday, April 26.

An opportunity for the public to meet and congratulate Chief Markham will be announced soon.