Arradondo says he won’t seek 3rd term as Minneapolis police chief

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Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Monday that he won’t seek a third term as police chief.

"After 32 years of service, I believe that now 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," Arradondo said.

He will retire next month to allow for a smooth transition to the new leadership, he added.

Arradondo became the city’s police chief after Janee Harteau resigned in 2017. He is the first Black person to serve as chief of the Minneapolis Police Department.

As chief, Arradondo has tried to guide the department through some difficult times. He entered the role after former police officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home. Over the past year-and-a-half, he’s been tasked with rebuilding community trust and implementing changes following the death of George Floyd at the hands of four former police officers. The department has faced rising crime during a shortage of officers and calls to defund the department. He publicly opposed the city’s ballot question to eliminate MPD and replace it with a department of safety and, in August, said the department would scale back on certain low-level traffic stops.

At the beginning of the year, Arradondo was a finalist for the police chief job in San Jose, Calif., but after it became public, he asked to be withdrawn from consideration.

Arradondo said the impacts of Floyd’s death "certainly will stay with me forever" but it wasn’t a factor in his decision. He said, "it’s just time," and called it a "blessing" to have been able to serve his city for the past 32 years.

Arradondo also said he doesn’t have another position lined up at this time and he’s not considering any political positions. He does plan to stay in the city.

"This city has gone through a lot. When many have thought that all hope was lost, our folks still showed up and they were seen; there are many people that would be proud to take on this responsibility," Arradondo said of the chief of police position.

When Arradondo steps down in mid-January, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said "there will be continuity of safety and service." The mayor plans to make his decision for interim chief in the next couple of days and said it will be a national search for the department’s next chief.

The interim chief will serve while the search is performed. Arradondo said he won’t recommend any specific person to take over.

"We want to make sure that we get the best, most talented person that is reform-minded, that is procedure of justice-oriented and wants to ensure the safety of every resident of our city," Frey said.

Click here to read Arradondo’s full retirement statement.