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Brian O'Hara has been selected to serve as the new police chief in Minneapolis.

Mayor Jacob Frey made the appointment official on Thursday in collaboration with Commissioner of Community Safety Cedric Alexander.

O'Hara was one of three finalists for the job and currently works as a deputy mayor of police services in Newark, New Jersey. 

The other two finalists were Southfield, Michigan Police Chief Elvin Barren and RaShall Brackney, who serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Practice at George Mason University. Interim Chief Amelia Huffman was not considered to take over the permanent role.

Frey said O'Hara has a "respected background" in community policing and has risen through the ranks of law enforcement since the early 2000s. O'Hara has worked with the Newark Police Department since 2001.

O'Hara said during a news conference Thursday that he was "grateful and honored" to be chosen. 

Brian O'Hara.

Brian O'Hara.

"Policing is a collaborative effort. We need every community member to partner with us in order to be successful going forward," O'Hara said. "If you don't support police, please just give us a chance."

He added that he plans to live in the city.

According NJ.com, O'Hara once served as Newark, New Jersey's public safety director before he was placed into a new deputy mayor position in July following an uptick in crime. 

O'Hara said his initial primary focus will be on gun violence in the city. He also stressed to reporters that he's committed to holding officers accountable for their actions.

"It should be clear by now to all that the idea of policing simply going away or be abolished is simply unrealistic," O'Hara said. "The problem of serious street crime is urgent, and our communities demand and deserve good police to deal with that urgently."

"At the same time, I commit to hold all police officers accountable, to the values or our community, and I invite the community to hold all of us accountable as well."

The Minneapolis City Council will now have to approve the hire before he officially takes over the role. The mayor said he hopes the decision is made official by November.

Former Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced in December 2021 he wouldn't seek a third term. 

O'Hara will take over a department facing a number of challenges, having seen a significant drop in serving officer numbers since former MPD officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in May 2020, sparking riots.

Minneapolis has also seen a rise in violent crime that spiked particularly in 2021 and has continued well above pre-pandemic levels in 2022, a trend that has been seen across much of the country in recent years.

"The goal here should be to make a department that is so good, that is so well respected, that people from all backgrounds want to be a part of it," O'Hara said.

City officials made the announcement Thursday morning. You can watch it below.

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