Harteau asks community to back new acting chief

Arradondo has been nominated to be the new chief, but is he the right person for the position?

Minneapolis' chief of police was asked to step down this week, but she doesn't seem bitter about it.

Police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned from her post on Friday at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges. The move was a response to the death of Justine Damond, an unarmed woman who was shot to death by a Minneapolis officer after reporting a possible assault near her home.

Harteau handled the decision with grace, saying that she was "willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be."

And now she's praising the man next in line – her assistant chief, Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Harteau calls Arradondo an "honorable, caring man."

"He was a great Chief of Staff, newly appointed Assistant Chief and now Chief. We have done so much together to improve public trust and police service. There is still more that needs to be done," Harteau wrote. "Please show him the love, support and partnership you have shown me. We can only become better together!"

Harteau also said she's received "countless messages" since stepping down Friday, and she thanked everyone for their support.

"I am overwhelmed with humility and appreciation for the outpouring support I have received! I love this city, the members of the MPD and all of you! You are the reason I have done this work for 3 decades," the post says.

Is Arradondo the leader we need?

On Friday evening, Mayor Hodges nominated Arradondo to be the new police chief, saying in a statement that the Minneapolis Police Department needs to go through a transformation.

"I am confident that Assistant Chief Arradondo is the right person to lead us through it. The experience of working closely with him over the past week, which has been so hard on everyone in Minneapolis, has solidified my confidence," Hodges said.

Arradondo had been filling in as the face of the department following the shooting, because Harteau was away on personal time and couldn't get back to the city right away.

Hodges' statement says Arrandondo is a 28-year veteran of the department who has served in various leadership positions over the years. 

But is he the right person to fill the position? There's plenty of opinions on both sides – not to mention those who say Harteau shouldn't have been let go in the first place, and that the mayor is the one who needs to resign.

The Star Tribune says Arradondo would be the city’s first black police chief if he wins the job permanently. Many people on social media are suggesting that an African-American chief could help improve the strained relationship between the police department and the city's black community.

But others are critical, saying if Minneapolis really wants a "fresh pair of eyes" to lead the department, they need to choose an outsider.

Linea Palmisano, a city councilwoman who represents the ward where the shooting happened, told the Associated Press that while she's impressed with Arradondo, she wonders if someone from outside the department would be better able to make changes and enforce procedures such as turning on body cameras.

Arradondo needs the city council's approval before he can begin the job. 

Whether it's him or someone else, whoever takes over faces the daunting task of winning back the public's support and making substantial changes during one of the most difficult times in the department's history.

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