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MINNEAPOLIS - For the first time in the city's history, a woman is set to lead the police department of the state's largest city.

Assistant Chief Janeé Harteau will be nominated to serve as the next chief of police in Minneapolis, Mayor R.T. Rybak announced Monday. The promotion would take effect in January following the retirement ofChief Tim Dolan who announced he is retiring at the end of 2012.

"For many years, I have seen Janeé Harteau make our city safer, including during some of our toughest crises. She has succeeded at every step: on the street, at the downtown command and in our top administration.

"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 wrote in a statement.

"I've grown up in this department and I am humbled by Mayor Rybak's confidence in me to be the next police chief. It is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to lead such a talented and dedicated group of men and women," Harteau said in a statement. "I have the utmost respect for Chief Dolan and am grateful for his mentorship of me and his leadership of our department, which is the foundation that I will build upon."

If confirmed by the city council, Harteau will be the first woman to lead the Minneapolis Police Department.

"The fact that Janeé Harteau has been 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," city council president Barbara Johnson said in a statement.

Harteau joined the Minneapolis Police Department as a 22-year-old in 1987. Since then, she has worked beats in north, south and downtown, and has served in narcotics, organized crime and license investigation units, among others.

Harteau was named deputy chief of the patrol bureau in 2009 and assistant chief in 2011.

Harteau holds a bachelor's degree in police science and a master's degree in public safety administration, both from St. Mary's University. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command. She is an instructor at both institutions.

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