Skip to main content

Medaria Arradondo will not seek a third term as the Minneapolis police chief. 

"After much personal reflection, and thoughtful discussion with my family and Mayor Frey, I have made the decision that I will not be accepting a new term as chief of the Minneapolis Police Department," he said announced during a morning news conference Monday, thanking his MPD colleagues for their dedicated service over the past few years.

"They have served under the most challenging times in our recent history, and i am forever grateful for their service," he said.

Arradondo will retire next month, he said, in order to allow for a smooth transition as Mayor Jacob Frey considers new candidates for the role. 

Frey, speaking Monday, thanks Arradondo for his service, saying the police chief has done work "through some of the most difficult moments our city has ever experienced."

The mayor promised "continuity of safety and service" during the transition to a new police chief.

Frey, who reappointed Arradondo to his current three-year term that began in January of 2019, said he expects to announce an interim chief in the days ahead. That will include a national search for a potential successor, the mayor added.

Arradondo started with the Minneapolis Police Department as a patrol officer in 1989. He has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 32 years, having previously served in various leadership positions, including 1st Precinct inspector, deputy chief and chief of staff. 

"As a hometown kid growing up in Minneapolis, attending public schools here, playing sports at our local parks and helping my neighbors along the way, I've been blessed beyond measure to serve the people of this truly wonderful city," Arradondo said Monday.

Former Mayor Betsy Hodges appointed Arradondo to the role in 2017. He replaced embattled then-Police Chief Janee Harteau, who was asked to resign in the wake of the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond

Arradondo, the first Black police chief in Minneapolis history, promised a "shift in our culture" upon being confirmed in August of 2017, acknowledging the department's history is "marked with times where we have harmed communities."

"We will never succeed if we do not have the trust of our community," he said. "And so there will be dark days and there will be difficult days, and I will call upon all of you to help support us in doing the work, but ... in terms of the Minneapolis Police Department, we are responsible for doing that work."

The years that followed proved to be among the most tumultuous in the department's history.

The killing of George Floyd, which Arradondo described as "murder" a few weeks after the deadly encounter, set off a period of civil unrest in the city, resulting in the destruction of the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct and burning of numerous buildings. The actions of police officers and other law enforcement (including State Patrol and National Guard) during this period has come under heavy criticism, including allegations of a deliberate pull back by some officers, during a time crime in the city surged.

All of this led to larger conversations about accountability for MPD officers — and whether the future of public safety in the city should include the police department, which is currently the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.

Arradondo on Monday said the killing of Floyd and aftermath "did not render into [his] decision" at this point, instead pointing to his family while reiterating, "It's time."

Arradondo came out against the failed Ballot Question 2 to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety. (A press conference shortly before the election brought an ethics complaint from outgoing council president Lisa Bender.) 

Arradondo repeatedly refused to comment on his future in the lead-up to the vote on the ballot question, with the possibility of his departure in the event resident voted "Yes" used as a key argument against it by opponents to the measure.

He and Frey have promised to effect change from within, with a reform, rather than replace, strategy. They have have taken steps, such as reducing enforcement of some low-level traffic violations, and last week Frey named Arradondo to the 35-member community safety working group, though critics maintain that the level of change within MPD is nowhere near fast or substantial enough.

In fall of 2020, Chief Arradondo asked for more funding to hire outside officers to help respond to the spike in crime in the city after losing a record number of officers to attrition. The City Council approved the joint enforcement aid money, but the MPD and other agencies never finalized the contracts so it didn't use the money

Arradondo's term will end in mid-January. He said he has no interest in running for other elected positions such as governor at this point, nor is he considering police chief positions outside of Minnesota.

He said he believes it is the right time "to allow for new leadership, new perspective, new focus and new hope to lead the department forward in collaboration with our communities, and I am confident MPD has the leadership in place to advance this cirtically important work that lies ahead of us."

He concluded his statement by saying: "The light of our city spirit will shine brighter in the days to come."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-27 at 9.15.45 PM

Buckeyes crash the glass, fend off Gophers

E.J. Liddell dominated in the paint to help No. 16 Ohio State.

nicolas blouin flickr fire hose

Fire departments decry drivers running over hoses, endangering crews

It happened in two separate Northland cities this week.

All Energy Solar - Bringing Panels to Roof

All Energy Solar reaches growth milestones with higher goals yet for 2022

Minnesota solar company continues to thrive through building a strong workforce

Royal Canadian Mounted Police maintoba crossing crop

Authorities ID family found frozen to death at MN-Canada border

They're still trying to unravel how they got there and who might have helped them.


Mayo Clinic specialist: 'The omicron surge is not over'

Experts expect a rapid decline over the next month followed a period of calm.

police lights

Charges: Man in stolen Jeep leads police on 110 mph chase

He crashed into a light post near the Capitol and then fled on foot, the complaint says.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.


Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.


Police chief Arradondo - 2021.10.27

Mpls. council president files ethics complaint against Arradondo, Frey

At the heart of the complaint is the chief's news conference about Ballot Question 2.

amelia huffman

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman named interim chief of the Minneapolis PD

She lives in Uptown and has been with the MPD for 27 years.

Medaria Arradondo

Minneapolis police chief ends contract negotiations with union

The union is seen as a barrier to reform within the MPD.

Screen Shot 2021-04-05 at 6.01.21 PM

MPD Chief Arradondo: Chauvin's neck restraint violated policies, values

MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo told jurors Monday that Derek Chauvin's restraint should have ended when George Floyd stopped resisting.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Frey, Arradondo announce stricter reporting for MPD use-of-force incidents

Officers must report any de-escalation attempts when force is used.