MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau has resigned from her position as police chief at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges.
This comes in the wake of the shooting death of an Australian woman by a Minneapolis police officer.
Hodges has nominated current Assistant Police Chief Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo to be the next Police Chief.
“Over the next few years, the Minneapolis Police Department will work to continue the transformational change that we all know we need, and to strengthen and ingrain into our policing the changes that we have already made," said Hodges in a statement. "I am confident that Assistant Chief Arradondo is the right person to lead us through it. The experience of working closely with him over the past week, which has been so hard on everyone in Minneapolis, has solidified my confidence.”
Minneapolis Police Union President Lt. Bob Kroll spoke out in favor of the resignation, calling it "long overdue." Kroll said he was disappointed Harteau painted officers in broad brush strokes and couldn't make it back from vacation in Colorado after the officer-involved shooting happened.
The resignation of Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau coming as no surprise to many in Minneapolis's Fulton neighborhood, where the shooting happened.
"It almost had to happen because it is so bad and it has to start at the top," said Sharon Spartz, a resident.
For others who have long been critical of Chief Harteau it was a moment worth celebrating. A group of protesters gathered in Loring Park, cheered at the news of her resignation. Those protesters would later take to the streets of downtown Minneapolis, disrupt the light rail train schedule and eventually interrupt Mayor Hodges' press conference at City Hall.
Resignation Statement from Chief Harteau
"Over the 30+ years that I’ve served as a police officer in the City of Mpls, moving up through the ranks to Police Chief, I have woken up every day knowing that this job is not about me. It is about the members of the communities that we serve and the police officers who protect our residents. I am proud of the great work the MPD has accomplished. For example, I am proud we are already a leader in 21st Century and community policing. However, last Saturday’s tragedy, as well as some other recent incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection. The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we’ve developed as a Department. Despite the MPD’s many accomplishments under my leadership over these years and my love for the City, I have to put the communities we serve first. I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be. The city of Minneapolis deserves the very best.
"I want to thank the countless community, business and law enforcement leaders that I’ve partnered with over the past three decades. Together we have built a department to be proud of through our accomplishments including MPD 2.0, our groundbreaking work with the National Initiative, Cops out of Cars, National Night Out Championships, Police Community Chaplains, the Police Community Support Team, increasing our overall department diversity, the Office of Justice Programs Assessment, Bike Cops for Kids, the Body Worn Camera program, Procedural Justice, the Chief’s Citizens Advisory Council, our Community Collaborative Advancement division, the Quality Assurance Division, the Mental Health Co-Responder program, the Leadership and Organizational Development Division and building sustainable relationships within the community.
"My goal with MPD 2.0 was to leave the department better than when I became Chief, and I believe that we have.
"It’s been an honor to serve the residents of Minneapolis and the officers of the Minneapolis Police Department."
Statement from Mayor Betsy Hodges:
“Janeé Harteau has served the Minneapolis Police Department and the people of Minneapolis for 30 years with vision, determination, and strength. She has overcome barriers and challenges that most of us can’t begin to imagine to become one of the top law-enforcement officials in America in a male-dominated profession. She deserves everyone’s thanks for her dedicated service.
“I’ve worked closely with Chief Harteau for three and a half years. In that time, we’ve done more, faster, to transform policing, public safety, and public trust than any other mayor, police chief, police department, or city in America, while putting the safety of our residents first and working hard every day to keep Minneapolis a safe city for everyone. I give Chief Harteau tremendous credit for taking on that body of work, and leading through all this change.
“As far as we have come, I’ve lost confidence in the Chief’s ability to lead us further — and from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, especially this week, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well. For us to continue to transform policing — and community trust in policing — we need new leadership at MPD.
“In conversation with the Chief today, she and I agreed that she would step aside to make way for new leadership. I asked Chief Harteau for her resignation, she tendered it, and I have accepted it.
“We are not slowing the pace of our transformation. The work will continue until it is done — until justice, dignity, and the sanctity of life are reflected in every police encounter, and until everyone feels safe and is safe in One Minneapolis. We will not waver from that.
“This just means that the time has come for new leadership at MPD to get us where we all know we need to be.”