Watch: Minneapolis' new police chief promises a shift in culture, though acknowledges 'difficult days' ahead

Medaria Arradondo is the city's first African-American chief of police.
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Medaria Arradondo is no longer the interim chief of police in Minneapolis.

The City Council voted unanimously to confirm Arradondo as the next permanent police chief Friday morning – making him the first African-American to hold that position in Minneapolis.

Arradondo had been serving as acting chief since the abrupt resignation of former Police Chief Janeé Harteau in July. Harteau – the city's first female and first openly gay police chief – was asked to step down by Mayor Betsy Hodges less than a week after the death of Justine Damond.

Hodges immediately put forward Arradondo's name to be the successor.

Arradondo, who goes by the nickname "Rondo," is a 28-year veteran of the department who has served in various leadership positions over the years, including 1st Precinct inspector, deputy chief and chief of staff. He started with Minneapolis police as a patrol officer in 1989.

And now he leads the entire department.

"This is a great challenge, and a great opportunity," Hodges said in a news release afterward. "We are asking him to take on the top job at an unprecedented time, and I’m confident that he’s ready to serve in this powerful moment of transformation."

'We will never succeed if we do not have the trust of our community'

After the vote, Arradondo said he was both "humbled" and "honored" to be before the people that "make the Minneapolis Police Department truly one of the greatest in the country."

He credited the "heroes and she-roes" and their trials and sacrifices with helping him, and others, have opportunities like this.

"You may not hear a chief use this four-letter word, but you can not truly believe in service without love," he said. "And I love this city, continue to love this city and all the communities that we serve."

He also acknowledged, broadly, the poor relationship the police have with some people, saying the department's history is "marked with times where we have harmed communities. And that takes time to change that pain, but I am dedicated and obligated to making sure that we do that."

Here's a piece of his remarks:

"And while I know that we have done many tremendous things with this Minneapolis Police Department, I do know that there are pockets in our communities that have felt no trust. Where that trust has been shaken. And it's important for me to inspire the men and women that we have to restore that. We will never succeed if we do not have the trust of our community. 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. I do plan to have a shift in our culture."

Arradondo's confirmation means he will serve out the rest of Harteau's three-year term, which is up in January of 2019.

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