Last week, the Minneapolis City Council approved Mayor Jacob Frey’s nomination of Dr. Cedric Alexander for the city’s first community safety commissioner. He was sworn in on Monday, August 8.
As the community safety commissioner, with a reported baseline salary of $300,000, Alexander will oversee the mayor’s newly proposed Office of Community Safety, which would oversee five departments: 911, fire, emergency management, police, and neighborhood safety (formerly the Office of Violence Prevention).
The office is one of the major elements of Mayor Frey’s proposed executive government structure. The next police chief will report to Alexander.
The council’s confirmation followed a hearing where community members were able to weigh in and hear directly from Dr. Alexander.
“Today marks a seminal moment in our work to reshape and redefine community safety in Minneapolis,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Our communities have called out for safety, they’ve called out for change, and Dr. Alexander has answered the call. I am grateful to the Council for confirming his nomination today. Now the real work begins.”
Alexander, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology, brings more than 40 years of executive leadership in civil service, law enforcement, and public safety to this new role. He has previously served as the director of public safety for DeKalb County in Georgia where he oversaw police, fire, emergency response and 911.
He also served as the chief of police and later deputy mayor for the city of Rochester, New York, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and a member of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Cedric Alexander to #TeamMinneapolis. His experience, leadership qualities, and national networks will help us chart a new path forward toward greater police accountability to improve public safety in the city of Minneapolis,” said City Council President Andrea Jenkins. “We must work together to heal our city and address the systemic issues that lead to the unconscionable levels of violence in our communities. We all have a role to play in overcoming these challenges.”
“We need to bring these five public safety departments together—so they can work together, they can be creative and idealistic together. We need to move policing forward and rebuild relationships in the community,” Alexander said. “I’m here to help, but it’s going to take all of us in this great city to make Minneapolis a safer place for everyone. We can’t forget the past, but we truly do have to look toward the future. We need to redesign our approach to public safety so everyone is working together.”