MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day after Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced he won’t seek a third term early next year, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has announced an interim chief.

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman will serve as interim chief when Arradondo’s second term ends on Jan. 15.

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“I look forward to continuing the work to lead the Minneapolis Police Department toward building a better future in collaboration with our communities,” Huffman said in a press conference Tuesday.

(credit: CBS)

Frey is betting the talents of the 27-year veteran will help rebuild the department. He calls Huffman a “doer” and says her broad range of leadership skills will be important in the continued transformation of the police force.

“She has an encyclopedic knowledge of policy, procedure, and training – the building blocks of enacting a culture shift across the department and keeping our city safe. She has earned trust and respect from colleagues and community members throughout her time with police department due to a track record of exceptional leadership, and I’m excited to see that record grow in this new role,” Frey said.

Hufffman has served both the 3rd and 5th precincts. She’s been most recently serving as deputy chief of professional standards where she oversees administrative services, internal affairs, technology and support services, and training.

Huffman also thanked current police chief for his “32 years of tireless work” for Minneapolis police. He issued a statement of support for Huffman following the press conference.

“Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman is aptly capable, competent, and qualified for this unique role,” Arradondo said. “She has a thoughtful and real understanding of the complex public safety challenges our city is experiencing. She is a true leader, bridge builder and problem solver.”

At the press conference, Huffman was asked about taking on the challenges of this job.

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“I’ve lived in Minneapolis for 28 years and I love my city. I realize we have specific challenges to address, particularly in the most disenfranchised parts of our city,” Huffman said.

Huffman knows she’ll need the community to work with police.

“We have challenges to address to be sure, violent crime, hiring for the future, investing in training and stronger systems, but it is our duty to pick up the work done by Chief Arradondo and carry it into the next chapter,” said Huffman.

Frey says he is considering internal and external candidates and the national search for a new chief of police will start soon. Huffman has expressed her interest in keeping the job permanently.

Arradondo, 54, said he will be retiring following the conclusion of his second term on Jan. 15. He said he is not seeking another police chief position at another department, nor other public office positions.

In 2017, Arradondo became the department’s first Black chief after the resignation of former chief Janeé Harteau in the wake of the Justine Ruszczyk-Damond shooting.

During Arradondo’s second term in office, the Minneapolis Police Department became a national focal point following the murder of George Floyd by former officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin has since been convicted and sentenced to over 20 years in prison.

The unrest following Floyd’s murder led to calls for significant police reform, including defunding police. A ballot initiative in Minneapolis that would have removed the police department from the city charter and replaced it with a reimagined public safety department failed in the November election.

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