Hmong leaders on hand to support Saint Paul Assistant Police Chief Matt Bostrom for Ramsey County Sheriff, June 4, 2010 at Rice Palace Restaurant, from left, Fue Thao, Charles Ly, Chu Vu, Matt Bostrom, Charles Vu, Fue Heu, Foung Heu and Nucheng Xiong. (AAP staff photo by Tom LaVenture)
By TOM LAVENTURE
AAP staff writer
ST. PAUL (June 4, 2010) – The campaign of Saint Paul Assistant Chief of Police Matt Bostrom to unseat incumbent Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher has a support list that reads like a roster of elected public officials – and it added several Hmong American leaders at a fundraiser event last Friday at Rice Palace in St. Paul.
Bostrom was introduced by State Sen. Mee Moua – a co-campaign chair together with U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Ramsey County Commissioners Victoria Reinhardt and Tony Bennett, and former Saint Paul Police Chief John Harrington. However, the evening was organized by longtime Bostrom friend Foung Heu, who welcomed guests with Sen. Moua
Community leaders including Charles Vu, Nucheng Xiong, Saint Paul Police Officer Charles Ly and local attorney Fue Thao, spoke about Bostrom, describing him as “fair”, “honorable”, and “humble.”
Bostrom greeted supporters with a handy lesson in Swedish – noting that when you see a name that ends in “strom” – it is a Swedish name. He went on to note that he would continue utilizing community liaisons to immigrant communities has made all the difference in everything from social service referrals to improved police-community relations with new Americans.
He talked about his vision of a community policing and public service. He said he realized long ago that the key to safe and vibrant communities is not about trying to identify the ideal number of uniformed police for a given population – but about developing and improving the fabric of safe the communities and neighborhoods – the parks, neighborhoods, churches schools and families.
Bostrom said he would work to ensure that the Sheriff’s Department maximizes the appropriate use of tax dollars and would have officers set an example to showcase policing as noble work that kids would aspire to become.
A native of Saint Paul, Matt grew up near Lake Phalen and graduated from Johnson High School, where he met his spouse of 28 years, Cheryl. The two raised have three adult children and now live in Lowertown St. Paul.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern College, his Masters in Education from the University of St. Thomas, and his Doctorate in Public Administration from Hamline University. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is a licensed Saint Paul Public School Teacher, has authored police policy papers, and is a certified State of Minnesota Emergency Manager.
Bostrom talked about his 28 years of law enforcement experience with service as a police officer, investigator, administrator, liaison, training and IT director and Emergency Preparedness coordinator.
Other Bostrom supporters include Saint Paul St. Paul City Attorney John Choi and State Rep. Cy Thao (DFL-65A).
Bob Fletcher has been the Ramsey County Sheriff for 16 years, and his campaign for a fifth term is centered on his declaration that he has no affiliation to a political party.