On the heels of asking for 400 more employees over the next six years, Minneapolis’ police chief rolled out his vision for the future of the department to the City Council's public safety committee.
"When I am no longer your chief, the transformational work of the MPD is what I want to be my legacy," Chief Medaria Arradondo said Wednesday. "So, I was very intentional in the design of that work and I want that vision to outlast my tenure. This will be the future of the MPD."
Arradondo’s presentation includes efforts to curb the use of deadly force, to increase trust in the community, and to make sure all interactions with the public are “procedurally just.” Arradondo also said he wants to make sure members of the department are addressing their mental health needs — especially when they experience trauma.
Arradondo said he wants to diversify the force to make it look more like the city it serves. As part of his presentation, he said police have a duty to report misconduct by their co-workers and a duty to intervene when another officer is using force inappropriately.
"I think you have the toughest job in the city — and you have my support and you have a lot the council members’ support," said Alondra Cano, who represents Ward 9. Cano said when she first got to the council, she was skeptical that any real change could happen within the department, but that Arradondo’s work has made her hopeful.
Council member Steve Fletcher observed that the chief seems to be setting higher standards for officers, but he said that several times in the last few years, disciplinary decisions were overturned in arbitration.
"My question is does the Federation (the Minneapolis police union) contract allow you to actually discipline for those things,” Fletcher said. “Are you actually being taken seriously as someone who is being tough on these things if we are not able to actually enact the discipline that you're saying here is exemplary of your leadership?"
Arradondo responded he’ll continue to use his position to hold people accountable.
The chief plans to ask for 30 more Minneapolis Police Department positions in the next budget cycle.