Hodges says Mpls. should skip wide search for new police chief

Mayor Betsy Hodges addresses the media after resignation of Chief Harteau.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges addresses the media after police chief Harteau's resignation.
Maria Alejandra Cardona | MPR News file

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she wants to avoid an external search for a new police chief and instead put Medaria Arradondo in charge of the department immediately, reiterating her support for the interim chief to succeed JaneƩ Harteau.

The mayor described a sense of urgency among constituents and officers for making changes in police leadership in a statement Hodges tweeted Tuesday night.

Hodges said she'd nominate Arradondo as chief Friday night, right after Harteau resigned.

"I might have been open to making an interim appointment and starting a lengthy process to identify an outside candidate if there weren't an ideal candidate right in front of us," Hodges wrote.

Harteau stepped down as chief nearly a week after one of her officers fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk, a south Minneapolis woman who had called 911 to report a sexual assault.

Restoring public trust in Minneapolis police, embattled by multiple high-profile shootings and excessive use-of-force claims, has been at the center of Hodges reelection campaign.

Hodges' statement Tuesday praised Arradondo as a "skilled communicator who is respected inside and outside" the police department.

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