Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has declared current Assistant Police Chief Janeé Harteau as his choice to replace outgoing Minneapolis Chief Tim Dolan.
Rybak made the announcement Monday of his intention to nominate Harteau for the top spot. Dolan is retiring at the end of 2012 after 29 years with the Minneapolis Police Department.
In a statement, Rybak said, "For many years, I have seen Janeé Harteau make our city safer, including during some of our toughest crises. She has succeeded at every step: on the street, at the downtown command and in our top administration. She is a smart cop, a savvy administrator and a natural leader. She is the logical next chief, and will be an exceptional one."
Rybak will formally nominate Harteau in January 2013, after Dolan's retirement becomes effective. The Minneapolis City Council will then begin the process of confirming the nomination.
If confirmed by the City Council, Harteau, who is of French Canadian and Native American background, will be the first woman to lead the Minneapolis Police Department.
"I am making this announcement now so that the transition is orderly and so that Assistant Chief Harteau will have several months to meet with and listen to our many internal and external partners as she sets her leadership priorities," Rybak said.
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Harteau says she is ready to lead the department.
"Being a person who grew up in this department I have a very good handle on the day-to-day operations of not only the police department, but very much the needs and issues of the city of Minneapolis," Harteau said.
Harteau joined the Minneapolis Police Department as an officer in 1987, at age 22. She has worked on the street in north, south and downtown Minneapolis, and has served in the narcotics, organized crime and license investigation units, among others.
From 2006 to 2009, she served as inspector of the First Precinct in downtown Minneapolis, where she advanced public-private partnerships that led to the formalization of the Downtown SafeZone Collaborative and the Downtown Courtwatch program that received national recognition with the 2009 Community Policing award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. As First Precinct inspector, she also implemented the position of Somali Liaison Officer and improved relations with the Somali community in Cedar-Riverside.
As chief, Harteau said she will build upon her experience in multiple positions within the police department.
"First and foremost, I need to spend the next few months really looking at all the protocols and speaking to all the stakeholders internal and external to really develop a blueprint for myself and set priorities for 2013."
Dolan named Harteau deputy chief of the Patrol Bureau in 2009 and assistant chief in 2011. She is a member of the Major City Chiefs Association, the Police Executive Research Forum and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, among other professional affiliations. She also serves on the boards of YouthLink, a nonprofit that serves homeless youth and the Downtown Improvement District. She has also served on the boards of Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Harteau holds a bachelor's degree in Police Science and a master's degree in Public Safety Administration, both from St. Mary's University. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command. She is an instructor at both institutions.
Harteau said in a statement that she is humbled by the nomination.
"It is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to lead such a talented and dedicated group of men and women. I have the utmost respect for Chief Dolan and am grateful for his mentorship of me and his leadership of our department, which is the foundation that I will build upon. Until then, I am eager to continue serving under Chief Dolan and my focus will remain the same: improving public safety and public trust," she said.