Cedric Alexander to retire as Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner

Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner retires

Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner retires

Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner Dr. Cedric Alexander plans to leave the position in the fall.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS broke the news Thursday morning. The city later confirmed the news, saying Alexander will retire in September.

Alexander was brought in last year to oversee the Office of Community Safety, which will consist of the fire and police departments, as well as 911, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Office of Violence Prevention, which is now being called Neighborhood Safety. He was sworn in on Aug. 8, 2022.

“During the last year, I’ve worked alongside committed and talented leaders and personnel to strive towards excellence under the direction of Mayor [Jacob] Frey, who directed me to stand up the historic Office of Community Safety,” Alexander said. “As Minneapolis moves toward its continued vision for a 21st century comprehensive safety strategy, I am proud to note the foundation for success has been established. This is, and continues to be, a beautiful and vibrant city with endless opportunities for all. I am beyond honored to have served this community and have been humbled by the expression of support shown me over the past year.”

“Commissioner Alexander’s career has been defined by a commitment to public safety and public service,” Minneapolis Mayor Frey said in a statement. “When Minneapolis needed strong leadership and a clear vision, he answered the call. I am grateful for his dedication to our city and his excellent work to curb violent crime and make a comprehensive safety system a reality. I am honored to have worked alongside Commissioner Alexander and thank him for his disciplined, inclusive approach to community safety. I’m grateful to call him a friend and will be seeking his guidance well into the future.”

Alexander’s last day is set for Sept. 1.

The city says Frey will outline a transition plan in the coming weeks.

The Minneapolis police union released a statement blaming the city’s “backward ways” for Alexander’s departure.

“Dr. Alexander came to the City of Minneapolis to build the Office of Community Safety and rebuild community trust. Shortly after being hired, he spent time meeting with stakeholders, and he met with the POFM Board. During that meeting Dr. Alexander stated, ‘if one day you wake up and see I quit, it’s because they won’t let me do my job.’ It appears that time has come for him. The backward ways in the City of Minneapolis have yet again run off someone that could have greatly contributed to the restoration of public safety in the City of Minneapolis.”

Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis

In a one-on-one talk with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Thursday, Alexander said, “it’s always very difficult” to make a decision about retiring and added, “there’s never a perfect time for exiting.”

However, he denied being able to freely do the work he was hired to do.

“No, my hands weren’t tied,” he said. “I think what was uniquely different here is that it was new to all of us, those who had the vision, the mayor had the vision, and those who it took a while to capture the vision, and those who are still yet to get the vision.”

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His departure will come at a critical time as federal and state authorities require changes to Minneapolis Police. Despite that, Frey says he’s not worried about Alexander’s position being vacant.

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“We’ve already got some very, very high caliber people that are very interested in this position,” Frey said.

As he prepares to leave, Alexander says the city needs to fine-tune a long-term public safety plan.

“We’re delighted of the work we’ve done here, but this office and this city still have a lot of work to do,” he said.

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