Rybak nominates Harteau for police chief

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May 7, 2012 // UPDATED 9:57 am - May 7, 2012
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter

Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan in April announced that he will retire at the end of 2012, and Mayor R.T. Rybak has announced that he will appoint Janeé Harteau to replace Dolan. 

Harteau, if confirmed by the City Council, would become the first female police chief in the city’s history. 

Dolan had served as police chief for six years. His career began with the MPD 29 years ago. A North Minneapolis native and 

DeLaSalle alumnus, Dolan worked his way up through the department to become chief.  

“I have lived in or worked for the City of Minneapolis my entire life,” Dolan said in the release. “Every day that I put on the uniform, I consider myself fortunate and honored to work for the finest team I have known. Thank you all for making that possible.”

Dolan took over as Police Chief in 2006, when crime was spiking in Minneapolis. In 2006, 6,480 violent crimes occurred in Minneapolis, according to Results Minneapolis stats. In 2011, that number dropped to 3,811. Homicides have decreased from 56 in 2006 to 37 in 2011. 

“Tim Dolan stepped in as chief in the middle of a public-safety crisis and immediately began to spearhead a significant, multi-year decrease in crime,” Rybak said in a statement. “It wasn’t an accident: we worked closely together for months and years on a series of smart strategies that engaged every community in our city and made every part of Minneapolis dramatically safer.”

Rybak’s comments were echoed by Don Samuels, the North Side City Council member who chairs the city’s public safety committee. 

“Tim Dolan has overseen the most dramatic reduction in violent crime in recent memory,” Samuels said. “He has accomplished this in the toughest economy, with a combination of strong leadership, technological innovation and breakthrough strategic thinking. The city is a safer place because of Chief Dolan’s excellent service.”

Harteau is a 25-year veteran of the Police Department. She is currently serving as assistant police chief, but previously served as an officer and the inspector of the Police Department’s First Precinct, which covers Downtown.

She has a French Canadian and Native American background. 

“She is a smart cop, a savvy administrator and a natural leader. She is the logical next chief, and will be an exceptional one,” Rybak said in a statement. 

Harteau won’t be appointed until January, allowing several months for the transition. 

“The fact that Janeé Harteau has been a key part of Chief Tim Dolan’s strong management team is reassuring and a strong sign that she will build on his success in making Minneapolis significantly safer,” Council President Barb Johnson said in a statement. 

Samuels also praised Rybak’s choice. 

“Janeé Harteau represents the best of the Minneapolis Police Department and the city of Minneapolis. She has risen through the ranks through her integrity and great ability, and she demonstrates our city’s commitment to obliterate all glass ceilings for exceptional people of color and women,” he said. 

Park Board looking to buy land along Northeast riverfront for $1.37M

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is looking to buy a 1.75-acre parcel of land along the upper riverfront in Northeast Minneapolis that would help with the expansion of bicycle and pedestrian trails along the river. 

The land is a couple parcels north of the Scherer Bros. lumber site, which is just north of the Broadway Bridge. Some may know the space as the valet parking lot for Psycho Suzi’s. 

The Park Board on May 2 was scheduled to consider approving a purchase agreement for the land — at 1720 Marshall St. NE — for $1.37 million. The land is currently owned by Marshall Street Properties. It includes 354 feet of riverfront.  

The land has a market value of $1.3 million, according to a Park Board memo. It was purchased in 1988 for $700,000. 

Funding for the project is expected to come from the Park Board’s Riverfront Development fund, which has a $1.25 million balance, and from the Metropolitan Council. Additional funding could also come from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. 

There is currently a 37,780 square foot building on the property which is now used for storage. Previously, it was a manufacturing facility. Park Board Superintendent of Planning Bruce Chamberlain said the Park Board would use the facility for storage and operations for the short-term, but the land would be primarily open when parks aredeveloped. 

The Park Board in March passed a design plan and framework for the upper riverfront called RiverFirst. This property, according to the resolution, would be a “critical acquisition” for that plan. 

The thinking at the Park Board has been that trails along the east side of the river would be the first step in implementing the RiverFirst plan, which also includes developing a park at the Scherer Bros. site, connecting North Minneapolis to the river via a greenway, and adding bike bridges to existing bridges. 

The Park Board is in line for a federal transportation grant that is administered by the Met Council. Staff, as of last month, still hadn’t found out if funding was made available. That grant would fund trails along the east side of the river.

Reach Nick Halter at nhalter@mnpubs.com.