Minneapolis begins national search for next police chief

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Sunday announced the city had hired a consulting firm to spearhead a nationwide search for a permanent police chief — a process expected to be wrapped up by the summer.

In a news release, Frey’s office said Public Sector Search & Consulting Inc., a California-based firm that focuses solely on police executive searches, will oversee the process to replace former Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. The company’s CEO, a former police chief from the San Francisco Bay area, will lead the search.

The mayor also said a committee of community members — whose names will be released this week — will help interview candidates and make recommendations for finalists.

“This will be one of the most consequential hires we ever make,” said Frey. “The importance of hiring a reform-minded Chief of Police to lead a culture shift in our department cannot be overstated. It has never been more crucial or necessary to bring in a leader who can rebuild our department and achieve a renewed reality of public safety in the community. Now is the time. We must get this right.”

Arradondo announced in December he would not seek a third term as Minneapolis police chief. Frey named Amelia Huffman as Arradondo’s interim replacement, and she has already come under fire for her response to an MPD SWAT team killing Amir Locke during a no-knock raid on an apartment.

The city has not selected a chief from outside the Minneapolis Police Department since hiring William McManus from Dayton, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago.

PSSC has been brought on for police executive searches in major cities across the country, including Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle and Kansas City, Missouri. According to the release from Frey’s office, the firm has already begun meeting with the mayor and city council members and will further take input from community stakeholders and the Minneapolis Police Department.

The feedback from various groups will help PSSC formulate a “Position Profile” before officially posting the job and beginning recruitment efforts. The firm will send finalists on to Mayor Frey for interviews, and he will then select the next police chief from that pool.

“Our team has been at the forefront of bringing new leadership to police departments across the country to instill community-minded values, innovation, and reforms,” Peterson said in a statement. “We are honored to be partnering with Minneapolis at this critical time and will be engaging stakeholders and community to inform the process and guide our search for the right Chief of Police to lead MPD into the future.”

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will conduct a background check Frey’s choice for the job, and the nominee will then be subject to final approval from the City Council.