MINNEAPOLIS — One day after Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced he's going to retire in January, Mayor Jacob Frey made a selection for interim chief.
Frey tapped Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman, who has 27 years of experience with the Minneapolis Police Department, to take over for Arradondo while the search for his replacement moves forward.
During her career with MPD, Huffman has served assignments in the 3rd and 5th Precincts, as an investigator in the Financial Crimes, Crimes Against Children, and Internal Affairs units. She also served as commander of the Homicide and Licensing Units, and as Deputy Chief of Professional Standards within the Chief’s leadership team.
Huffman will take over as the interim police chief on Jan. 15, 2022.
"Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman is the right leader to carry forward the work toward a more just and equitable system of safety in Minneapolis,” said Frey in a statement released before Tuesday's news conference. “She has an encyclopedic knowledge of policy, procedure, and training – the building blocks of enacting a culture shift across the department and keeping our city safe. She has earned trust and respect from colleagues and community members throughout her time with police department due to a track record of exceptional leadership, and I’m excited to see that record grow in this new role.”
At a news conference Tuesday, Huffman thanked Mayor Frey for the opportunity and Chief Arradondo for his leadership, and explained why she wants the job in light of the challenges currently facing the city and department.
"I've lived in Minneapolis for 28 years and I love my city," she said. "I live in Uptown... and I can't tell you what a tremendous place I believe Minneapolis is. What we have to offer in terms of quality of life is fantastic and I would trade it for no place."
Huffman added that she recognizes the Minneapolis Police Department has significant challenges to address, "particularly in the most disenfranchised parts of our city."
When asked if she is interested in the permanent chief position, Huffman said she is and hopes to have more discussions with Frey about the role.
The mayor confirmed that the search for Arradondo's permanent replacement will include a nationwide search. Chief Arradondo also said he is working with people within the department that could take over his post, but did not share any names.
Frey thanked Arradondo for his years of service to the department, saying he is "chock full of integrity" and "truly a son of Minneapolis."
When asked why he made the choice to retire in January and not seek a third term at the helm of the city's police force, Arradondo chalked his decision up to timing.
"After 32 years of service I believe that now is the right time to allow for new leadership, new perspective, new focus and new hope to lead the department forward in collaboration with our communities," he said.