MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two days before the Minneapolis City Council will vote whether or not to make her the next police chief, members of the public and co-workers alike are having their say about Deputy Police Chief Janee Harteau.
Harteau is Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s pick to replace Chief Tim Dolan, who’s retiring.
Nearly two dozen Minneapolis residents, business owners and police officers weighed in on Harteau’s nomination.
“I wanted to acknowledge the work she’s done in Loring Park when she was down there,” said Lieutenant Robert Zimmerman, with the Minneapolis’ homicide unit. “She’s done an excellent job and she’s taken that up to the Chief’s office as Deputy Chief.”
The 48-year-old Deputy Chief has served Minneapolis for the last 25 years. She’s worked in north, south and downtown Minneapolis. She also worked on the city’s narcotics, organized crime and license investigation units.
“The business community relies on safety in downtown Minneapolis,” said Mark Stenglein, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “Deputy Chief Harteau has had the downtown precinct and she understands the needs for downtown. It’s a 24/7 operation.”
From 2006 to 2009 she helped launch public/private partnership that led to the very successful Downtown SafeZone Collaborative. She also helped improve relations with the Cedar-Riverside Somali Community and created the position of Somali Liaison Officer.
After Wednesday’s public hearing, she told reporters she hopes she can live up to the expectations being placed on her.
“I didn’t get here alone, that was clear,” said Harteau. “Success doesn’t happen alone it happens with a lot of people. For me it was very awkward, frankly, to hear the comments, but it’s also very comforting.”
Harteau says as the city’s “top cop” she plans to be the face of the police department and will be at all major events involving Minneapolis Police.
“I want people to know ‘I got this,’” said Harteau. “We’re going to have those events that people talked about today, when times are tough and I want to be out in the front of that. I want people to know as Chief I will be handling those. I will accept the decisions and stand behind the decisions we make and the actions of the officers in the police department.”
Harteau is replacing Chief Dolan who was honored on Wednesday with Community Leadership Award by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
On Friday, the entire City Council will vote whether or not to make Harteau the next Police Chief. If approved, she’ll be sworn in on Tuesday, Dec. 4.