After spending 25 years in the force, Janee Harteau will take over for Tim Dolan as Minneapolis' new police chief. Harteau also stands as the first female, openly-gay police chief, according to the Star Tribune.
Though Dolan retired in November, Harteau will be officially sworn in on Tuesday, December 4. According to the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, "The council voted 11-0 to confirm Harteau, 48, after council members and Mayor R.T. Rybak gushed praise for the new chief."
Rybak is excited about the newly-appointed police chief and believes she brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, in addition to ideas for change. "I think it's important to point out that we have a chief who's coming in who at one time had complaints about this department and how it treated women," Rybak told the Star Tribune. "And I think that's an important value to be bringing to the table. Because in the top job, that top cop can also see when things aren't going right."
Though Harteau's new position marks a monumental time for the force, Harteau didn't see it as incredibly significant. "For others it might be," Harteau told the Star Tribune. "And if I can be a role model ... I want people to see that you can achieve things despite some obstacles in your way. I stand on my merits on how I got here. I've been given tremendous opportunity." Harteau and her partner, Holly Keegel, also a Minneapolis police officer shared a squad car in their earlier years and also wrote two small books on safety issues.
In a news conference following the vote, Harteau explained that some of her first priorities involve structural and personnel changes in the department. She also intends to review the department's "use of force" policies, which detail the levels and types of force officers can use in various situations, according to the Star Tribune.