Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo will not seek a third term

MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced on Monday that he will not seek a third term as head of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).

Arradondo, a 32-year veteran of the MPD, became the city’s first African American police chief in 2017 following the resignation of Chief Janee Harteau.

“After much personal reflection and thoughtful discussions with my family and Mayor Frey, I have made a decision that I will not be accepting a new term as chief of the Minneapolis Police Department,” Arradondo said at a news conference on Monday. 

Arradondo thanked his family, his team, and members of the MPD, who he said have served during the most challenging time in the city’s history. He also thanked Mayor Frey for his “unwavering support for me and the MPD.”

To the residents of Minneapolis, Arradondo said, “It has been such an honor and humbling privilege to be your public servant for the past 32 years and the past four and a half as your chief. To my elders in the community, those currently with us, and those who have passed, thank you for your wisdom, your guidance, your prayers, and honest feedback, and invaluable history lessons.”

He continued, “To Minneapolis children and young people—I’ve seen you and I’ve heard you over the years. I’ve kept your dreams, your hopes, and opportunities for a better and brighter as a guiding force in my work.

“You must continue to be at the table in leading the discussion on how we as a city can build bridges and create real sustainable progress between the community and the Minneapolis Police Department,” he said.

“I cared and I tried” is how Arradondo said he hoped people would remember him as chief. After 32 years of service, he believed that now was the right time “to allow for new leadership, new perspective, new focus, and new hope to lead the department forward in collaboration with our community.”

He told reporters that while the killing and aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the knee of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin weighs on him, it did not factor into his decision to step down. After more than three decades on the force, “it was time,” he told reporters.

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Chief Arradondo said that while he is open to exploring what his next steps will be, he does not have a “chief’s position or another career lined up at this time.” He also stated he is not entertaining running for political office.

“I plan to retire next month to allow for a smooth transition in order for Mayor Frey to make his considerations and ultimate selection in whom he believes should be our city’s next chief of police,” Chief Arradondo said. “I’m looking forward to working with him in that endeavor. I will forever cherish that I was able to serve the people of Minneapolis.”

Mayor Frey thanked Arradondo at the news conference for his “commitment to truth, transparency and to justice—that was true as a young beat officer on the Northside 32 years ago and it is true today of someone who has instilled procedural justice and worked tirelessly for the reform of the police department.

“When people of our city think of the words public service, they should think Chief Arradondo and the work he has done through thick and thin and through some of the most difficult moments that our city has ever experienced,” Frey said.

Frey also said he learned of Arradondo’s decision Monday morning but had been in conversations with him for the last couple of months. Arradondo told reporters that Mayor Frey had wanted him to stay on the job longer.

Chief Arradondo will lead the MPD through mid-January 2022. Mayor Frey said he hoped to announce an interim chief at some point this week. The interim chief will serve while a national search for a permanent police chief is conducted.