MINNEAPOLIS - After much controversy and debate, a new 4th Precinct Inspector has been announced for the Minneapolis Police Department.
Chief Janee Harteau named Aaron Biard to the role, effective Aug. 20, in a press release on Tuesday.
“Aaron Biard has earned the respect of both the officers of the 4th Precinct and the countless neighborhood leaders who live and work in North Minneapolis. He is a proven leader, community builder and problem-solver and I have no doubt he will continue to carry on the successful neighborhood engagement and law enforcement initiatives that have reduced violent crime in the Precinct,” Chief Harteau stated.
The position has been under much debate after Harteau attempted to name Lt. John Delmonico to the top spot, only to have her appointment rejected by Mayor Betsy Hodges.
Delmonico later withdrew his name from consideration, saying he didn't want to be the wedge between the police chief and city's mayor.
Lt. Biard will take the spot from current inspector Mike Kjos, who will move to deputy chief of the Minneapolis Police Department's Operations Bureau. Harteau said until his official start date, Biard will work with Kjos as the daywatch lieutenant -- a job he's held since April of last year.
In the department's release, it states Biard has been a "significant part of the team of hard-working officers that has reduced aggravated assaults on the Northside by 15 percent this year."
Biard has been part of the department since September of 1995 and has previously served in the 1st, 3rd and 4th precincts. He also completed two tours of active duty with the Minnesota National Guard.
Hodges released a statement after Biard's announcement was made official:
“I’m pleased that Chief Janeé Harteau has identified such a strong choice for 4th Precinct Inspector. Lieutenant Aaron Biard is a steady, capable leader, who has the respect of the community and his fellow officers. Through his 22 years with the Minneapolis Police Department, Lt. Biard has a strong track record of, and commitment to, building positive relationships with residents, community leaders, and officers. That has been true of his most recent assignment in North Minneapolis, where he has demonstrated the kind of principled leadership that will be an example for the officers of his precinct and across the city.
“Moreover, I commend Chief Harteau for maintaining a transparent, thorough process in identifying Lt. Biard. Chief Harteau and I have been in communication throughout, and as a result, I’m confident the 4th Precinct is in good hands. I wish Lt. Biard all the best as he prepares to take on his new role. I also thank Inspector Mike Kjos for his service to the people of the 4th Precinct.”