MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The attached video originally aired to KARE11 on July 8, 2022
The Minneapolis City Council confirmed Dr. Cedric Alexander for the city's first community safety commissioner Thursday.
Alexander will begin his new role on Monday, Aug. 8, the city said in a statement.
Mayor Jacob Frey nominated Alexander for the role back in July, which was created to transform policing and public safety after George Floyd's murder.
Alexander will report directly to Frey and oversee the mayor's proposed Office of Community Safety. In this newly created position, the two will work on redefining policing and integrating five departments: 911, fire, the Office of Emergency Management, police and the Office of Violence Prevention.
“We need to bring these five public safety departments together – so they can work together, they can be creative and idealistic together. We need to move policing forward and rebuild relationships in the community,” Alexander said in a statement Thursday. “I’m here to help, but it’s going to take all of us in this great city to make Minneapolis a safer place for everyone. We can’t forget the past, but we truly do have to look toward the future. We need to redesign our approach to public safety so everyone is working together.”
Frey and Alexander will also work to hire a permanent police chief for the city, recruit more officers and address 911 centers that are short-staffed.
Alexander has spent more than four decades working in law enforcement and held positions in Florida, New York, and Georgia. He also served on former-President Obama's policing task force and is a psychologist, author, and analyst, weighing on police kills across the country.
"We cannot fight crime in the 21st century, we cannot build relationships in the 21st century, we cannot advance policing in the 21st century if we're using 20th-century techniques. And we're still using 20th-century techniques in some places," Alexander said.
He says his goal is to make Minneapolis one of the safest cities in America.
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