Final community input session on next Minneapolis police chief to be held Tuesday

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The search for the next Minneapolis police chief is about to move another step forward – community input sessions are wrapping up, with the final one happening Tuesday night.

Mayor Jacob Frey has said this is the most important hire for Minneapolis.

Councilmember LaTrisha Vetaw, who sat down with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, agreed with Frey.

“Definitely we are taking this higher, more serious than we have ever before,” said Vetaw.

Vetaw adds the goal is to bring in a leader who can rebuild the department. The city aims to find that person by the end of the summer. However, she says she isn’t sure this entire process will be over by the end of this summer in order to find the right person for the job.

The process isn’t up to city leaders; they are also considering feedback from the community.

In previous input sessions, community members from all backgrounds have said the chief must prioritize hiring officers who treat everyone with respect.

The search also comes at a time when the city is seeing a rise in shootings and other crimes.

Vetaw said this is something the city needs to get right.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also asked Vetaw if the city already has someone in mind.

“Not that I have heard of, I haven’t, I haven’t talked to anyone specifically. I think this is just a very open process,” said Vetaw.

The final of five community listening sessions will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center on Nicollet Avenue.

Vetaw said the mayor has not been at any of the meetings because she specifically asked him not to be, in order for residents to stay focused.

Frey’s office sent 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the following statement on behalf of the mayor:

“We are on track for having a new Chief of Police in place this coming summer. I’m grateful to Council Member Vetaw for leading a recent series of listening sessions to center community voices in this search process. The community feedback, guidance, and perspective received during these sessions will be an integral piece in the next step of this process – creating the Position Profile.

“This will be one of the most consequential hires we ever make, and the importance of hiring a reform-minded Chief of Police to lead a culture shift in our department cannot be overstated. These were similar themes that emerged from the community listening sessions. Community members and residents want a leader who is trustworthy, community-minded, and honest – in addition to someone who is ready to shift the culture, provide transparency, and hold themselves and the entire department accountable.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

Now, the next step in this process includes gathering all of the data from the public and handing it over to a law enforcement search firm hired by the city. That firm will then create a job description.