Minneapolis Police Chief hopes new department position creates better community relations

A unique idea is about to become reality for Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. 

Chief Arradondo came up with the position of “community navigator” and asked the City Council to approve the budget for it. While Chief Arradondo wanted two dozen positions, the council gave him four. 

The chief hopes a Minneapolis Police Department community navigator can help create a better connection with people in the city. 

“We are not going to be able really to arrest these problems away, nor do I as chief want to see our department in any way shape or form criminalizing some of these conditions that effect our city,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo.

The navigator will have their finger on the pulse of those conditions the chief is concerned about and be pro-active. They would be familiar with the community, know who is homeless, jobless, has mental health or drug issues, know who to call for help and have direct access to police if necessary. They will be liaisons and problem solvers.

“They will be a conduit to a service that we’ve been doing 24-7, seven days a week – they will be a conduit to address, again, some of these systemic problems that we are not the most appropriate response for,” said Arradondo.

These first four positions are aimed at the Native American, African-American, Somali and Hispanic communities. If successful, the chief hopes to get approval for more hires. The goal with all of this: trust between residents and the Minneapolis Police Department.

“The most important requirements that I’d like to see in these potential candidates is one – a love for our city,” he said. “The ability to really roll up your sleeves and be problem solvers.” 

The chief says there’s already been a lot of interest in these positions. They are taking applications until next Friday. Then in the month of July, the department will complete background checks and hopefully have all four applicants in place soon after. For more information, click here.