MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minneapolis’ first Black police chief steps down this weekend.

Last month, Medaria Arradondo announced that he would retire and not take a third term.

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To say the Black community was proud that a Native son was the first Black Police Chief in Minneapolis history is an understatement.

“His presence really spoke volumes,” said Bishop Richard Howell. “When he came on board Chief Arradondo brought not only respect but we were able to trust the police department again.”

Arradondo worked to hold officers and community accountable for their actions during any situation.

“I think his greatest asset was his integrity and his passion for public safety and he wanted to make sure everyone was communicated with the right information before anything had to be done,” said Howell.

Howell said Arradondo’s presence will be missed.

Others say his leaving has many in the community feeling let down.

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“I think it’s unfortunate for our community, I think so many folks here had so much hope for him to carry out another term particularly so after the last election,” said Teto Wilson.

Wilson said he and many others fought hard to defeat a ballot measure to change MPD to a Department of Public safety to make sure Arradondo’s job would be secure.

“I think a lot of us thought he was going to remain but you know he had a lot of pressure,” Wilson said.

Pressure from seeing the city through the murder of George Floyd, the uprising that followed and a surge of violence that engulfed the entire city.

Howell and Wilson said he handled the pressure with dignity.

“I think Chief Arradondo leaves behind a legacy where we can follow a better pattern that we’ve ever seen in the history of Minneapolis,” said Howell.

The community is invited to a retirement celebration for Chief Arradondo that will be held at Shiloh Temple International Ministries on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.

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The event is free and open to all.

Reg Chapman