Without hesitation, Janeé Harteau

I’m very pleased to announce that I have named current Assistant Chief Janeé Harteau to serve as Minneapolis’ next chief of police beginning in 2013, following the retirement of Chief Tim Dolan at the end of 2012.

One of the most important choices a mayor can make is a police chief, and I came to this choice without hesitation. For many years, I have seen Janeé Harteau make our city safer, including during some of our toughest crises. She has succeeded at every step: on the street, at the downtown command and in our top administration.

She is a smart cop, a savvy administrator and a natural leader. She is the logical next chief, and she will be an exceptional one.

As she herself describes it, Janeé Harteau “grew up” in the Minneapolis Police Department, joining the force as an officer in 1987, when she was just 22 years old. She has worked on the street in north, south and downtown Minneapolis, and has served in the narcotics, organized crime and license investigation units, among others.

From 2006–2009, she led the 1st Precinct in downtown Minneapolis, where she helped start public/private partnerships that led to the very successful Downtown SafeZone Collaborative and Downtown Courtwatch program. In the same role, she also helped dramatically improve relations with the Somali community Cedar-Riverside and started the position of Somali Liaison Officer.

Chief Dolan named her deputy chief of the Patrol Bureau in 2009 and assistant chief in 2010.

She has served in community as well as in the Police Department, including on the boards of YouthLink, a nonprofit that serves homeless youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Downtown Improvement District and the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

I think it’s also important to point out that Janeé Harteau, who is of French Canadian and Native American background, will be the first woman to lead the Minneapolis Police Department, and one of only two women police chiefs of America’s big cities.

I will formally begin the process of nominating Assistant Chief Harteau as the next chief in January 2013, after Chief Dolan’s retirement becomes effective, at which time the City Council will begin the process of confirming the nomination.

Until then, Assistant Chief Harteau will continue to be part of Chief Dolan’s top command as they work together on a smooth transition. During this period, she will be reaching out and listening to our many internal and external partners and she sets her leadership priorities for continuing to improve public safety and public trust.

A final note about Chief Tim Dolan, who is taking a well-deserved retirement after 29 years as a Minneapolis police officer. He stepped in as chief in 2006 in the middle of a public-safety crisis and immediately got to work on a spearheading significant, multi-year decrease in crime. His success wasn’t an accident: we worked closely together for months and years on a series of smart strategies that engaged every community in our city and made every part of Minneapolis dramatically safer.

I’m especially proud of his innovative work in preventing youth violence, establishing effective public-safety partnerships with community, and boldly championing our fight against illegal guns.

Of course, Chief Dolan is not done: he has much good work left to do, but he deserves our deep thanks and gratitude for his years of exemplary public service and for making Minneapolis a much safer, stronger city.

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