By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis Police Chief spent Monday morning speaking with and setting expectations for the department’s newest class of recruits.

There are 32 recruits and this class is one of the most diverse in recent history.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman has more on how MPD hopes these new recruits are instrumental in changing the culture of the department.

“This is your first day of your journey with the Minneapolis Police Department,” Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

Day one for 32 recruits.

“I’ve had the privilege and distinction to sit down with you and have a conversation with you and if you recall the number one trait that I look for in those wanting to wear this badge very proudly is character,” Arradondo said.

It’s a new way of doing things. Chief Arradondo told the recruits their reputation begins now and how their peers and community see them will be based on their actions.

They are expected to build trustworthy spaces, treat others with respect, as well as give them a voice.

“We have a very diverse class and that is something that we want to have, we want to have the most qualified, competent but inclusive workforce within the Minneapolis Police Department,” Arradondo explained.

This class of recruits is very reflective of the community it will serve. Twenty-six men and 6 women make up the class. Eight of the men are black, 4 Asian and 1 female recruit is Latina.

They represent the Hmong, African American, Laos, Somali, Liberian and Hispanic Communities.

“Researchers are saying that you are entering our profession at an unprecedented time,” Arradondo said.

A time where communities require officers to serve in its best interest. A time, Arradondo says, MPD can work to improve community-police relationships.

Chief Arradondo also reminded recruits that they are encouraged to use resources available to them when it comes to mental health. He says more officers die by suicide than are killed in the line of duty.

Reg Chapman