Minneapolis police chief vows to recruit, promote more women

Acting Police Chief Medaria Arradondo
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo speaks during a news conference on July 15.
David Joles | Star Tribune via AP File

New Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo picked four veteran officers, all men, as his executive leadership team. But the city's 53rd police chief says he knows the department must do more to break down barriers for women.

"The number one demographic that we're seeing decreases in terms of recruitment and hiring and retention is women," Arradondo told MPR News in an interview Tuesday.

He said he's been talking to female officers on the force to ask them about the challenges of bringing more women into the department and why fewer women already in the ranks are taking promotional exams. Arradondo said he's committed to including women on the force and in department leadership.

Until recently, the chief and the department's second-in-command were women. Janee Harteau was forced out last month as chief after a Minneapolis officer responding to a 911 call shot and killed the caller.

Arradondo also said he's watching the situation in downtown Minneapolis closely after a pair of shootings earlier this month, including one that hit a bystander at a Hennepin Avenue bus stop. Another wounded two people outside a downtown night club.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

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