Frey won't say if Arradondo will stay as chief past 2022

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has made Police Chief Medaria Arradondo a central theme in his campaign to defeat a ballot question that would replace the city's police department this fall.

Yet Frey declined to say Monday if he'd gotten Arradondo's commitment to stay past his current contract, which is up in 2022.

"I won’t speak for the chief. I will speak for my own intentions, which is I’m 100 percent behind him," Frey said.

Arradondo has become a key issue in the debate over getting rid of the Minneapolis Police Department and allowing future city councils and mayors decide how many officers to employ in a newly formed public safety agency. 

The reason? The chief is more popular with city residents than the department he leads.

Fifty-five percent of city voters have a favorable view of Arradondo, while just 39 percent view MPD favorably, according to the latest Minnesota Poll. The poll, conducted Sept. 13-15, is sponsored by several local news outlets.

Arradondo withdrew his name from consideration as a finalist for the police chief job in San Jose, California last year. He has been Minneapolis's chief since 2017.

Opponents of the November ballot question aren't the only one raising Arradondo's name. Supporters of replacing MPD sued the city this summer over ballot language that noted how a yes vote would remove the police chief. A judge ordered the language changed.