Mpls. Mayor likes chances on Election Day

Incumbent Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges says she has learned from trial by fire, and will use that knowledge to serve residents of her city if she wins re-elction Tuesday.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. - From now until Election Day, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges will be very busy. 

She will be courting voters, shaking hands with supporters and reminding residents of the work that she's accomplished in the last four years. 

"People do know my name," said Hodges. "I’m the only one in the field riding a horse. Everyone else is on foot as a result, but it also means you’re the one everyone is aiming at." 

There's no denying that Mayor Hodges has been tested time and time again. 

There was the 2015 deadly officer-involved shooting of Jamar Clark in North Minneapolis and the ensuing protests that happened at the 4th Precinct. 

There was also the public feud that erupted when Mayor Hodges blocked former Police Chief Janee Harteau's appointment of a 4th Precinct Commander. 

Over the summer, Mayor Hodges faced another deadly officer-involved shooting and it made international headlines. Shortly after the death of Australian-borne Justine Damond, she asked Harteau to resign and she gave the job to Medaria Arradondo, the city's first black police chief. 

Chief Arradondo "really has that vision for where we need to take policing in the 21st century," she said.  

She added, "community policing is important, but he is also inviting the community into the department, into the work we do." 

When it comes to police reform, Hodges believes, the changes at MPD speak for themselves. 

"We’ve asked a lot of our officers. We have changed policy, we have changed procedure, we have changed training. Everybody has a body camera or will, and Chief Arredondo is the right one to make sure that all of that is instilled in the police department," said Hodges. 

If she were to win, what would the Mayor improve upon?

"I’ve learned a lot about communication for example," said Hodges, hinting at the Justice Department's report about the city's handling of the Jamar Clark shooting and it's aftermath.

"Disagreements between City of Minneapolis, MPD and Fourth Precinct leadership resulted in inconsistent messaging, unnecessary confusion and poor communication that significantly and negatively affected the response," the report said. 

"People have asked me to learn that lesson and I think I’ve demonstrated in large measure that I have but there’s always more to learn and more to grow," said Hodges. 

But what happens if she doesn't win on Tuesday? 

"I'm smart enough to know that there are great horizons for anyone who loses an election. You have to walk in knowing that you'll be ok - win or lose," she said. 

"There's a certain air of desperation that candidates get and I don't have that because I know whatever happens, I'll be all right," she added. 

 

 

 

 

© 2017 KARE-TV


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