Following the abrupt resignation of Police Chief Janeé Harteau Friday, we get you caught up on her career with Minneapolis police, and her relationship with the mayor.
Harteau has a storied place in Minneapolis history, becoming the first woman and first openly gay individual to become chief of the police department. She was sworn in to her first term on Dec. 4, 2012, after a short stint as acting chief to replace the retiring Tim Dolan.
Harteau won unanimous approval from the city council – of which now-Mayor Betsy Hodges was a member at the time. Harteau was first nominated for the position by former Mayor R.T. Rybak, then was nominated for reappointment by Hodges in September of 2015.
Harteau had a long career with MPD, joining as an officer in 1987 when she was 22 years old, working her way from covering the streets, to 1 Precinct investigator in 2006, to eventually becoming chief.
The strained relationship
Despite the rise up the ranks and notable accomplishments, she and Mayor Hodges never seemed to get on the same page.
A U.S. Department of Justice review zeroed in on poor communication between Harteau and Hodges as one of the main hindrances in the city’s response to the Jamar Clark protests.
Then in April of this year, their simmering rift became very public over the nomination of a former police union head – whom Hodges clashed with in years past – to lead the 4 Precinct. As texts obtained by the Star Tribune show, Hodges appeared to be furious Harteau didn’t clear the pick with her first. The mayor eventually stepped in and nullified Harteau’s choice, a decision which the chief described as disappointing.
Afterward, the two appeared together at a news conference and promised to work together more effectively going forward.
Harteau this week faced criticism from the community for being absent in the days following the shooting of Justine Damond. She told reporters Thursday, in her first live comments since the incident, she had been on a backpacking trip in a remote area, The Associated Press reported.