The City Council on Friday unanimously confirmed Mayor Betsy Hodges’ nominee for Minneapolis police chief, veteran officer Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo.
Arradondo, who joined the department 28 years ago, had served as acting chief since the resignation in July of Janeé Harteau. The former chief faced pressure to step down following the death of Justine Damond, who on July 15 dialed 911 to report a possible assault and was shot and killed by one of two responding officers.
Hodges described Arradondo as “a person of community and a person of service” who “leads by listening.” She said his appointment was “a great challenge and a great opportunity,” noting that he was being asked to carry out the department’s public safety mission while at the same winning back public trust.
“You have my emphatic and strong support,” Hodges said. “I look forward to the great work we are going to do together for he city of Minneapolis.”
City Council Member Linea Palmisano, who represents Ward 13, where Damond was killed, said Arradondo had her “provisional” support, adding that he had to prove himself capable of inspiring and leading change.
“The biggest part of all of this is Medaria Arradondo is a wonderful person, and we need him to be a change agent,” Palmisano said.
Arradondo said he planned to shift the department’s culture.
“For the communities to have trust in us, they also have to know that we are accountable,” he said.
Since joining the department as a patrol officer in 1989, Arradondo has served as a school resource officer, North Side beat officer, First Precinct inspector, deputy chief and chief of staff. He also served in the department’s internal affairs and property-crime investigation departments.
Arradondo is the first black chief of police in Minneapolis history.