MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A Minneapolis City Council committee gave its approval for Dr. Cedric Alexander to become the city's first commissioner of public safety.
The council's Committee of the Whole voted 9-0 with one council member abstaining to move Dr. Alexander's nomination to a full city council vote on Thursday.
If approved on Thursday's vote, Dr. Alexander will lead the city's police, fire and emergency response departments, making the highest paycheck of any city employee, including Mayor Frey, with a salary between $292,000 and $350,000.
Dr. Alexander was questioned by city council members on his experiences and results leading law enforcement agencies in Georgia and New York. Community activists and members of the public also weighed in on the hiring prior to the vote. "A Mother's Love" founder and former Minneapolis police sergeant Lisa Clemons gave Dr. Alexander a show of support.
"I don't care if you give him $100 or $300 -- hire him," said A Mother's Love founder and former Minneapolis police officer Lisa Clemons. "Hire more cops. I don’t care what anyone in this room says, because they're not out there while we're dodging bullets."
"I just took my kids to for their swim lessons, stopped at McDonald's," Clemons added. "Y'all remember Aniya [Allen] right? Got off on Broadway. I never get off on Broadway. but i got off on Broadway and rode right into a shootout."
"My kids were traumatized today eating McDonald's in my car. It's BS. I don't care what you gotta pay him. Hire him!"
If approved, Dr. Alexander says he realizes it’s going to take a wide-reaching effort to get violent crime under control in the city.
"At some point, I may need to sit with the chief judge of this county and ask them, ‘can they help us?’ Because some of these violent offenders are just being let loose too frequently and it’s not helping the situation none," said Dr. Alexander.
The city council will make its final vote on Dr. Alexander's nomination on Thursday at its regular council meeting.