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

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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 Janeé 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.