Acting Police Chief Medaria Arradondo would work to build police-community trust if permanently given the role, he said Monday.
Arradondo, nominated by Mayor Betsy Hodges, said he’s humbled for the opportunity to lead the department. His nomination came July 21, six days after the fatal shooting of Justine Damond by a Minneapolis police officer. Former chief Janeé Harteau resigned at Hodges’ request that day.
Arradondo on Monday laid out his vision for the department, which includes culture changes, accountability and outcomes, as seen by him and the community. He said he would be diligent about communicating his expectations to his officers and that he would look at areas of the budget that are opportunities to increase safety and trust.
“There are opportunities each and every day to build that trust, and I want to lead our department in doing so,” he said.
He plans on unveiling a data dashboard in coming days that’ll focus on police contacts involving suspicious person stops, suspicious vehicle stops, vehicle searches, consent searches and more. The department will also continue to look at policies, such as those around the use of force and body cameras, to look if they can be streamlined.
Arradondo added that he wants to increase the department’s officer wellness outreach and resources.
He admitted there’s been areas of the community where trust has been shaken with police. But he said the department wouldn’t withdraw from its duty to protect and serve.
“(We) look at challenges as opportunities and then we’ll see that sometimes conflict and tension can be opportunities to make us do a better job,” he said.
Hodges said she has deep and complete confidence in Arradondo, citing his 28-year history with the force. She said he’s a skilled communicator who is respected inside and outside the department and noted his track record of building relationships across the city. She said she admires his “calm brand of leadership.”
“(He’s) earned the kind of trust that only comes from honest, genuine engagement with communities,” she said. “… I can’t imagine a better choice for MPD than Acting Chief Arradondo.”
Arradondo joined the Minneapolis Police Department in 1989 as a patrol officer in the 3rd Precinct. He has also served as a school resource officer, a northside beat officer, as inspector for the 1st Precinct and a deputy chief and chief of staff. He also has internal affairs and property-crime investigation experience.
Arradondo, a Roosevelt High School graduate, received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Metropolitan State University and holds a master’s degree in human services from Concordia University. He is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
He would serve through Jan. 7, 2019, effective upon City Council approval.