Chief Christenson has tremendous knowledge of the entire policing operation at MSP, everything from anti-terrorism efforts to patrol, investigations, traffic control, community outreach and records administration,” said Mike Everson, director of public safety for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “He is a proven leader and has developed strong relationships and trust both within the department and throughout the MSP Airport community.”
Christenson began his law enforcement career at the MSP Airport Police Department (APD) in 1991 as a community service officer. He became a police officer in 1993, was promoted to sergeant in 1999 and lieutenant in 2002. Christenson achieved the rank of commander in 2005 before being appointed deputy chief in 2013. Among his achievements, Christenson led the APD’s investigative division for almost 20 years, launched its explosives-detecting canine program in 2003 and helped develop the Airport Watch community policing program in 2008.
“One of the things that attracted me to serving in law enforcement at an airport is the tremendous variety and complexity of work combined with so many opportunities to build community with federal law enforcement agencies, airlines and other airport business, employees and travelers,” Christenson said. “it is a tremendously dynamic environment where success is predicated on partnerships, relationship building and mutual trust. I am extremely honored to serve as chief of MSP’s police department.”
Christenson holds a master’s degree in public and non-profit administration from Metropolitan State University, a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Bethel University and an associates’ degree in law enforcement from North Hennepin Community College.
He is a graduate of the 217th session of the FBI National Academy and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association and the FBI National Academy Association.