The Minneapolis City Council unanimously reappointed Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to a three-year term Friday.
One month after Mayor Jacob Frey nominated Arradondo for reappointment, the 29-year department veteran easily cleared the council vote amid praise, though several members have been critical of some of his department’s recent actions.
“We really have a magical unicorn for a police chief,” said Council Member Phillipe Cunningham, while pointing out that Arradondo has the respect of both his officers and community members.
In a news conference that followed the vote, Frey told reporters that he has never wavered from his position that Arradondo was the right chief to lead the police department forward.
“He’s done everything from reshaping our body camera policy, to making sure that every officer is equipped with [heroin overdose antidote] Narcan, to a full-on effort to achieve procedural justice throughout our department,” Frey said. “This is exactly the person we need to lead our department.”
When it came time for him to speak, Arradondo thanked the mayor for his support and pledged to continue his efforts to transform the department’s culture, which has meant reaching out to and working with some of its staunchest critics.
“You cannot shape public safety alone; it requires great teamwork and great individuals, and I’m so proud to lead so many men and women, both sworn and civilian,” he said.
He also included among the priorities of his first full term mending fractured police-community relations and paying closer attention to the invisible strain that police work exerts on officers and getting them the help they need.
The lifelong Minneapolis resident and city’s first African-American police chief took over the 900-member department last year after his predecessor, Janeé Harteau, was forced to resign after the police shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
On Friday night, Arradondo spoke with citizens who set up a holiday tree outside Fourth Precinct headquarters in response to an earlier tree set up by two officers with offensive ornaments. He thanked the community members and, as he has before, denounced the earlier incident.
Staff writer Liz Sawyer contributed to this report. Libor Jany • 612-673-4064