Frey picks interim community safety commissioner ahead of Alexander’s retirement

With Minneapolis’s community safety commissioner set to retire in two weeks, the city’s mayor has named an interim leader.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Lee Sheehy, currently the city’s interim deputy city operations officer, will fill the interim commissioner role for the Office of Community Safety when Cedric Alexander retires on Sept. 1.

RELATED: Cedric Alexander to retire as Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner

Sheehy, who previously served as the director of the region and communities program for the McKnight Foundation, will lead the office during a transitional period until the next permanent commissioner is found. He’s also had prior roles as U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s chief of staff, regional administrator of the Met Council, chief deputy to Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey and chair of former Gov. Mark Dayton’s judicial selection and transition committees.

The city says Sheehy will not apply for the permanent role.

“For years, when elected leaders need support navigating complex challenges, they’ve turned to Lee Sheehy for guidance,” Frey said in a statement Friday. “That’s no accident. Lee’s career has been defined by leadership, compassion, service, and creative problem-solving. I could not be more grateful for his willingness to again answer the call to serve and help move Minneapolis into its next chapter of community safety work.”

“I am honored by the opportunity to serve the City of Minneapolis as interim Community Safety Commissioner,” Sheehy said. “Public Service in a city which has been my home for over 40 years is humbling and motivating.”

The announcement comes a month after 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS broke the news that Alexander, who took over the Office of Community Safety in August 2022, is leaving.

In a one-on-one interview, Alexander said, “there’s never a perfect time for exiting,” but said he was proud of the work that was done while he was here, adding that “this office and this city still have a lot of work to do.”

At that time, Frey said the city already had “some very, very high caliber people that are very interested in this position.” In naming Sheehy the interim commissioner Friday, the city said Frey “has connected with dozens of internal and external stakeholders” to get feedback on qualifications and expectations for the permanent role and may announce his nominee next month.