MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - After a violent and chaotic weekend in the City of Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey introduced Dr. Cedric Alexander as his nominee to become the city's new commissioner of community safety.
In his role, if confirmed, Dr. Alexander will oversee police, fire, and 911 in the city of Minneapolis. Speaking Wednesday, Dr. Alexander says the goal is to make Minneapolis the "safety city in America."
"That's the goal," said Dr. Alexander. "We don't get there overnight because we didn't start out right, maybe in that place, but we can get there. And we will get there. And for those who may be feeling that cannot happen. Visualize it, close your eyes and visualize this community, this city, in this moment in America's history, which we know that there are a number of challenges. We have the opportunity in this city to make this the greatest city in the country."
The Minneapolis City Council will consider the nomination of Dr. Alexander during its meeting on July 21. If approved, FOX 9 is told Dr. Alexander will make between $292,000 and $350,000 as commissioner – which would be about double what Mayor Frey makes to lead the city and the highest salary on the City of Minneapolis payroll.
The biggest issue Dr. Alexander will face is hiring more police officers to get the city back above mandated staffing levels.
"We are going to be thinking of some new ways to recruit," said Dr. Alexander. "But here's something I will say, that this community at large. I'm going to say to the police officers that are out there. We got 550-plus officers that can help us recruit. Every day we all take some ownership in it. But we even have a bigger base than that. You got over 400,000 people that reside in this city. And we all need to become recruiters. We all need to tell our friends and our neighbors and young people. The importance of public safety, talking about it to them in a way that's going to be positive because we got to have public safety."
Who is Dr. Cedric Alexander?
Dr. Alexander has a long resume specializing in law enforcement and advisement.
He began his law enforcement career in the 1970s working as a deputy sheriff in Florida. He later spent time in DeKalb County, Georgia as their director of public safety. He also served as police chief and later as deputy mayor in Rochester, New York.
Along with his time heading up law enforcement departments, Dr. Alexander also worked as a federal security director with Transportation Security Administration at Dallas-Fort Worth and served on President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Dr. Alexander has his doctorate in clinical psychology. He was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester between 1997 and 2002 before becoming police chief.
In the Twin Cities, he put together a report to advise the University of Minnesota on improving the relationship between students and police.
Dr. Alexander is probably best known for being a television commentator, appearing on CNN and MSNBC to discuss policing issues.