The Minneapolis City Council Friday morning approved the appointment of Janee Harteau as the city's next police chief.
Harteau, a 25-year veteran of the force, is the first female and first openly gay police chief in the city's history. It's a pair of historical firsts that Harteau acknowledges, but is reluctant to talk about. Harteau said what's most important to her is that her predecessor, Tim Dolan, had faith in her ability to take over the department.
"I've said this many times, I want people to see that you can achieve things despite some obstacles in your way. I stand on my merits — on how I got here," Harteau said.
Mayor R.T .Rybak nominated Harteau for the job earlier this year. He said Harteau has unique experiences which will help her be an effective leader.
"We have a chief that's coming in who at one time had complaints about this department and how it treated women," Rybak said. "That's an important value to be bringing to the table, because in the top job, that top cop can also see when things aren't going right."
Rybak is referring to a complaint Harteau filed with the state's human rights department in the mid 1990s.
Harteau said her immediate to-do list includes some personnel and policy decisions. She is also preparing for her swearing-in ceremony scheduled for next week. A Duluth-native, Harteau said she's expecting family to come to town for the event.