Brooklyn Center Police Chief says family — not politics — is behind retirement decision

Brooklyn Center Police Chief says family — not politics — is behind retirement decision

Brooklyn Center Police Chief says family — not politics — is behind retirement decision

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Kellace McDaniel will be retiring on Jan. 31, roughly a year and a half after he took on the role. McDaniel became chief in June 2022 when he replaced former Police Chief Tim Gannon, who resigned just two days after Daunte Wright was killed by former officer Kim Potter. 

McDaniel said he took the job during a pivotal time because he wanted to be part of helping the community heal.

“I’m kind of a healer … listening to people and seeing what they need and what they want,” he said. “I think that has helped in the healing process.”

McDaniel said the decision to hang up the badge sparked only last month when he took a trip to Montana. 

“And I thought, ‘You know what, in February I’ll be 57 years old. I got close to 25 years experience in law enforcement. I got beautiful kids and grandkids. Maybe it’s just time to retire,'” McDaniel said. “Family means a lot to me. So I just want that opportunity to be able to grow up with some of my, you know, young grandkids and my son.”

McDaniel denies rumors that politics at the city level had anything to do with his departure. 

“All I can say about politics is no matter what, in law enforcement, you’re always going to get that. You just basically have to have tough skin when it comes to any type of decision-making. The thing is, you know, you’re not always going to agree on certain things,” he said. “Politics was not my number one thing as far as the reason why.” 

The chief says his proudest accomplishment is in the recruitment sector, swearing in over a dozen officers within the last year. Currently, the department has 39 sworn staff of the authorized 48. In a news release, city officials say McDaniel was “integral in rebuilding the police department’s patrol division, as well as maintaining the support staff necessary to carry out the city’s mission.”

“So we did establish a recruitment group, which helps out quite a bit. I mean, people are invested in good officers, good quality officers,” the chief said.

Before joining the department, McDaniel was a lieutenant at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, where he oversaw the Court Services Division and supervised 57 deputies. McDaniel’s experience extends across various specialized law enforcement areas, including community engagement, homeland security, investigations, the Mobile Field Force Unit court services, narcotics, and the Violent Offender Task Force. 

“I want to be remembered for that individual that helped bring people together. I want people to know that my integrity is strong and literally, I am about as moral and ethical and professional as you can get,” McDaniel said. 

Currently, the city has not yet begun the process of searching for a new police chief. McDaniel says he plans to take part in that process when it starts.

“If you can do anything to help build trust and relationships with the community and police, then you’re definitely the person for this job,” McDaniel said.