Minneapolis police chief says culture is changing as he pushes for more officers

Wednesday, the Minneapolis police chief made another pitch to city leaders for an increase to department staffing, while trying to show he has made a culture change within the department.

Last month, the Chief Medaria Arradondo told Minneapolis City Council members that the department needed an additional 400 patrol officers 

"I will say to all of you, when I am no longer your chief, the transformational work of the MPD is what I want to be my legacy."

Chief Medaria Arradondo spent an hour laying out his vision for changing police culture and answering council questions about it.

"Discrimination of any kind will have no refuge here within the MPD," says Chief Arradondo.

The chief says he has stressed the importance of trust and accountability and behavior within his force.

"And as chief two years ago, I made it very clear that effective immediately on or off-duty conduct, that may have been tolerated years ago, will not be tolerated under my leadership," he says.

His appearance before the council’s Public Safety Committee on Wednesday comes two weeks after he told them he needed more officers. This past weekend, the department released that thousands of calls in Minneapolis came in last year with no available crew to respond. Council members pushed back, however, questioning if the department isn’t fixing historic problems.

"This is ridiculous to beg for police when you have 45-minute wait times," said community member Mike Johnson.

His presentation was preceded by community members supporting the need and supporting what the chief is doing.

"The fact that there’s one, let alone thousands, of unresponded calls is unacceptable and dangerous," said Emily Collins.

"You know, I just got to be real with you, I have never before - and I’ve lived here a long time - I’ve never before met a more transparent chief than the one we have now," added Jamar Nelson.

For Arradondo, a campaign to convince the council, culture change is only harder when officers feel overstressed.

"I’m here to say if we truly want the transformational change we’re looking for, that’s going to require some support and resources," the chief said.