Muyres named permanent Isanti police chief

Pictured welcoming Travis Muyres (fourth from left) as the permanent Isanti police chief were (from left) Isanti investigator Dusten Noreen, officer Jeremy Welfring, school resource officer Adam Gau, Braham police chief and Isanti part-time officer Eric Baumgart, mayor Jeff Johnson, and council members Paul Bergley, Dan Collson and Steve Lundeen.

Travis Muyres has officially had the title of “interim” taken away from his position on the Isanti police department.

During a special meeting held on May 20, the Isanti city council promoted Lieutenant Travis Muyres to the position of Chief of Police. 

Muyres has been acting chief since the council terminated the employment of former chief Gene Hill in April. Hill and Muyres had been placed on leave earlier this year due to unspecified allegations. While the council discussed what to do about the situation in three closed meetings in February and March, Isanti Police Investigator Dustin Noreen was interim chief of police. Muyres was subsequently removed from paid administrative leave in March without any further disciplinary action taken against him.

When answering the question of why he wanted to be the next chief, Muyres stated, “The main reason is it is my community. I just didn’t apply for this job because it was on the post website and I want to be a chief of police. My goal isn’t just to be a chief of police for an agency. My goal is to be the city of Isanti’s police chief, because it is my community.”

During discussion of their choice for police chief, council members noted that Pequot Lakes police chief Eric Klang was more than qualified for the position, and an excellent candidate to go up against Muyres. However, their desire to promote from within the department factored heavily into their decision.

Muyres has 20 years of experience in law enforcement, including four years as Lieutenant with the city of Isanti. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Public Safety Executive Leadership from St. Cloud State University. 

“As far as my experience in law enforcement, I’ve always continued to achieve something,” Muyres said, noting his development of an Invasive Species K9 Unit while he worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The K9 unit was the first in the state of Minnesota. “I’ve had a history of trying to always reach for something more in my position and make that place I’m at a better place,” he added.

When asked what he wanted to accomplish in his first few months as chief, Muyres stated that the department has phenomenal officers that have been with the city a while, and he will always rely on them to assist in making the department the best it can be. However, he felt the department needed a strong mission statement and core values in place so officers know why they are doing what they are doing in the community in which they serve. He would rely on his staff, and reach out to community members and city staff to assist him in forming a strong mission statement and core values. 

Another priority Muyres stated was to fully staff the department, which has been an issue for several months. Finally, he said he would like to complete a full department audit and inventory in order to figure out where the department is at, where it needs to be, and how to get there.

“I know who we have as far as officers,” Muyres said. “Bringing on five new officers this year is going to be a challenge, but I know what we have. They are capable of doing some really great things. And I want to have the opportunity to come back in a year and for all of you to say this department has gone leaps and bounds in how we are perceived in the community and the work that we do.”

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