MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau has ordered Police Federation President Bob Kroll to stop wearing his uniform when giving interviews in his capacity as labor union representative.
In an email obtained by KARE 11, Harteau writes to Kroll, "As you know, by virtue of the clothing allowance, MPD uniforms are paid for by the city of Minneapolis. The City controls their use."
When reached for comment, Kroll said, "That's true. But I'll be fighting that and winning."
The email goes on to say, "As Chief of Police, I expect all MPD employees -- particularly those in leadership ranks such as lieutenant -- to set a good example for fellow MPD employees and a good example to the public. This letter is a reminder as well as a direct order that you wear your MPD uniform only for MPD-sanctioned purposes. If you are unclear about those purposes, you must schedule a meeting with Professional Standards Deputy Chief Glampe to discuss. 'MPD-sanctioned purposes' does not include speaking in your capacity as a labor union representative. Therefore, I am also directing you to not wear an MPD uniform when speaking in your capacity as a union representative."
Kroll said there has been a long-standing practice that allows union presidents to wear their uniform for interviews and appearances. He believes this order was crafted because of personal feelings toward him.
Harteau also states in the email that the Office of Police Conduct Review has received multiple complaints regarding Kroll's "recent conduct."
In a Star Tribune interview last week, Kroll commended four off-duty MPD officers who left their security posts at a Minnesota Lynx game in protest, after players wore warm-up jerseys that said "Black Lives Matter."
Kroll told the Star Tribune the reason only four officers were working the game was because the Lynx are "a pathetic draw."
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges responded on social media by calling Kroll's words "jackass remarks."