After two decades with the Minneapolis Police Department, and months after being pulled from his post as a resource officer at North High School, Charles Adams III is leaving the force to work for the Minnesota Twins as director of team security.
Adams, 40, started with the Twins on Monday, calling the job a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Matt Hoy, the Twins’ senior vice president for operations, announced the hire Thursday at a meeting of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority and described Adams as a “very engaging, 100-percent-on human being.”
But Adams’ departure is also the culmination of a difficult few months and illustrative of the Minneapolis department’s struggles in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd while in police custody on May 25.
Adams was a legacy officer who followed on the force his well-known namesake father Charlie, who ran former Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton’s security and is now commander in charge of the Violent Crimes Division.
He said he will continue as football coach at North High, his alma mater. “That’s a priority. That was never going to change,” he said of the job.
But he lost his full-time job as a school resource officer at North High just days after Floyd’s death, when the Minneapolis Public Schools ended its decadeslong relationship with the Police Department.
Adams was reassigned — “relegated” was his word — to responding to 911 calls.
“What I worked so hard at, building relationships with the kids and the school, that was abruptly taken away from me,” Adams said Thursday.
He immediately started looking for other options, and a big opportunity came quickly. Twins President Dave St. Peter told the team’s staff last month about Adams’ hiring. His duties will include day-to-day security around the team at home, on the road and during spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.
Adams also will be a senior adviser to the Pohlad Family Foundation, where he will “provide counsel on issues pertaining to racial equity as well as police and criminal justice reform,” St. Peter wrote in a memo to staffers.
St. Peter said Adams had “built a stellar reputation throughout the community. He’s known as a leader and mentor thanks to his dedication and focus in creating a positive impact on youth.”
Adams is on leave from the Police Department and said he plans to officially resign early next year. With the Twins, he reports to Jeff Beahen, the former Rogers, Minn., police chief hired in early 2019 to lead security efforts.
For the past 10 years, Adams worked out of an office at North High where he was known as “OA,” short for Officer Adams. There he served as a peacemaker, college counselor and social worker, whose broad duties ranged from defusing hallway conflicts among students to distributing free clothes and helping families find food and shelter.
His new job should give him the chance to build on his strong community ties and help the Twins make inroads in inner-city neighborhoods where baseball is lagging in both fans and participation. North’s student-athletes rarely think beyond basketball and football, Adams said.
“The main objective for me is just engaging and making connections,” he said.
Adams’ family has ties to professional sports. His uncle, Tony Adams, also a Minneapolis cop, was a close friend of Kirby Puckett and has provided security for the Timberwolves. His father runs gameday security at U.S. Bank Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.
In an interview last summer after his job was eliminated, Adams described being caught in the middle of tensions between the community and police.
“People know where my heart is at,” he said. “I wear blue, but I’m Black. I feel everybody’s pain.”
Adams acknowledged the new job will be less stressful than facing a spike in violence, civil unrest and animosity toward the police.
“Things are going to get worse before they get better out on the streets,” he said.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747