Lt. John Delmonico is a lifelong resident of Minneapolis. He was president of the Minneapolis Police Federation from 1999 to 2015, representing the city’s rank-and-file officers. He has been a valuable leader in Minneapolis who has been working for inclusion and racial equality of opportunity.
Delmonico and I have a long history together. His parents and extended family believed in fairness and mutual respect. They would not endorse any conduct suggesting disrespect based on race or the color of a person’s skin.
As co-chair of the Police Community Relations Council, I worked closely with Delmonico when the Department of Justice was supervising the MPD. Delmonico put his career and reputation on the line to lead the development of an affirmative action plan for the MPD.
The plan called for total diversity and increased opportunity in hiring and promotion of protected class individuals who sought employment and promotion within the department. It is not the kind of plan that a racist would have ever thought to develop and push through an organization. Previously, the Federation had never called for equality and diversity within the Minneapolis Police Department.
Lt. Delmonico drove many of the recommendations for the affirmative action plan. In fact, former Chief Janae Harteau embraced his ideas in that historic document.
It is unfortunate that there are so many who know so little about Minneapolis’ history. It is because of that lack of knowledge about the history of this city that they feel free to slander and destroy the reputation of good people based on feelings and not facts, and on anger and not cooperation.
Therefore, you can imagine how disappointed I was to read in the October 14 Star Tribune that Mayor Betsy Hodges accused Delmonico of being racist, untrustworthy and unqualified to be Inspector of the Fourth Precinct. Further, that Delmonico had to file a defamation suit against the mayor. As I outlined above, he is qualified to run any of the precincts in Minneapolis, especially the fourth, which has the most diversity.
It is very distasteful that there are those who misidentify the man who has long fought for equality and fairness in the MPD. It is very difficult to figure out why Delmonico, whose roots run deep in the community, is being falsely accused.
I have worked with Delmonico for many years. He should not need to defend his legacy. He is a good man with strong principles in race relations.
I wish John Delmonico the best in defending his good name and reputation.
Ron has hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books, and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.