MPD Chief announces new positions, 'reconfiguration' of police department

The chief of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has announced a reconfiguration of the police force that he says will provide the leadership and support necessary to enact the reform, "that is deserved by those who are served by MPD and those who serve within MPD."

"We’re ready to fully implement an unprecedented department reorganization. I see a department that is turning the tide in the resiliency against violence by the sheer will of officers who decided to remain in the MPD," said O’Hara on Monday. "Minneapolis must be the model for healing shared trauma. The department is in the midst of a defining and historic moment."

Two proposals from MPD Chief Brian O'Hara were previously approved by the Minneapolis City Council and create two new bureaus within MPD - the Bureau of Internal Affairs, and the Bureau of Constitutional Policing.

On Aug. 3, a request was approved to accept new changes in state law, eliminating the previous statute that capped the number of deputy chiefs that the MPD could appoint. A second approved request allowed the creation of two new deputy chief positions to oversee the departments.

The new structure will include two assistant chiefs and five deputy chiefs. The department is being reorganized into two halves that will consist of Operations and Community Trust.

The Assistant Chief of Operations, led by Assistant Chief of Operations Katie Blackwell, will have command over the Patrol Bureau, and the Investigations Bureau which will remain largely unchanged in operation and organization.

The new Assistant Chief of Community Trust, led by Assistant Chief of Community Trust Christopher Gaiters, will have command over the new Constitutional Policing Bureau, the new Internal Affairs Bureau, and the restructured Professional Standards Bureau.

The new Constitutional Policing Bureau will house the MPD Implementation Unit, coordinate with the City Attorney’s office and other city departments, as well as serve as the liaison with the community and other stakeholders to implement and achieve compliance with the state settlement agreement and any resulting federal consent decree. Meanwhile, the new Internal Affairs Bureau will house an internal complaints section, a force investigations section, and candidate investigations section. 

The new bureaus and deputy chief positions will, "Give officers the structure and support they need and deserve," according to O'Hara, without adding any disruption to current MPD services.

In addition to the shakeup among ranks, a number of operations are still undergoing in the MPD in an effort to reduce crime, according to O’Hara.

"Our measure of success won’t be a statistic, but that people feel safer… That’s the real measure of success," O'Hara said.