Moving Forward: Trust, Accountability and Professional Service
I am humbled and most appreciative to be your Chief. As we continue our journey moving forward it’s important that you know my leadership vision and what you can expect from me as your Chief. It is also important that you know what I expect from both sworn and civilian members each and every day you come to work. As you read my vision statement crafted to lead and to move the MPD forward please know this: every word you’re about to read is genuine, authentic and grounded in my core beliefs and character. As your Chief I promise I will lead by example in both my words and actions.
For those of you who wear the Minneapolis Police Department badge, wear it proudly. This is an honorable and noble calling. You are a select group of individuals who have dedicated your life to serving the Minneapolis community. Your service is a labor of love. The police profession places you in harm’s way while protecting those you may never know. Thus, I thank you for your service.
Sanctity of Life is the most precious of all your duties. I expect you and our community members to go home safely at the end of each day. There are inherent dangers within this profession. However, the overwhelming majority of your interactions with our community don’t require the use of force. Continue to strengthen your interpersonal communication and your de-escalation skills. As your Chief, I expect a lot of you. The public does too. If you experience disrespect, you are not to respond in kind. Do all you can to protect and serve in a way that minimizes harm and risk of personal injury to yourselves and to our community members.
Your word is everything so keep it. Be truthful in all you say or put in writing. The first time you are not truthful it will always be remembered. If you are not truthful in the course of your duties, regardless of the situation, then you have committed one of the most egregious acts you can commit as someone who wears the MPD badge. Likewise, if you know a colleague is not being truthful and you remain silent, once again, you are complicit in one of the most egregious acts you can commit as someone who wears the MPD badge. We MUST be accountable to each other and the communities we serve. There is no place in the MPD for employees who are not truthful. If you are not truthful in the course of your duties you render yourself useless as an MPD employee. Those we serve will not tolerate employees who are not truthful. As your Chief, I will not tolerate untruthfulness.
Public trust is the backbone of law enforcement. If there is trust, the community will support and cooperate with the police. If the public trust is breached, it seriously damages the relationship between the community and the police department. Without trust the community will not respect or cooperate with the police which can make the MPD ineffective. If an MPD employee breaches the public trust or brings contempt to the department and the badge we wear, then they have forfeited their opportunity to serve on our department.
Every aspect of our professional service must demonstrate commitment to procedural justice. We will act by giving others Voice and Respect, being Neutral and building Trust in our interactions with those we serve, as well as with other MPD employees. In order for us to build authentic and genuine trust we must serve ALL our communities without bias or favor and provide the highest in professional policing service. Discrimination by any member of the MPD in any form, through words or actions, will never be tolerated by me as your Chief. These actions destroy all the good work so many have accomplished over the years in building trusting relationships with our communities. Discrimination of any kind has absolutely no place or refuge in the MPD.
As an MPD employee, know that what we do in our personal life can never be separated from how those we serve see us professionally. If your personal conduct and actions, including expressing your opinions or views via social media, are not something you would openly do while on duty then simply don’t do it. MPD employees are held to a higher standard than the general public and we should be. Your conduct off duty can be a reflection on our entire organization. If an MPD employee engages in conduct off duty that brings shame and mistrust to the MPD, those actions will be addressed as serious as they would be if you were on duty. Effective immediately, on or off duty misconduct that may have been tolerated years ago will not be tolerated under my leadership.
Adversity impacts us all and can affect us in a variety of ways. Your health and wellness is vitally important to me. I expect you to be aware of, and use, the many health and wellness resources the MPD and the City of Minneapolis has to offer. In your careers you will experience adversity and perhaps even trauma. If you are experiencing personal or professional issues that might create problems for you, I expect you to avail yourself of the health and wellness resources the MPD offers. Take advantage of these resources as soon as possible. If you have reason to believe that a colleague might be struggling, I expect you to remind that colleague of health and wellness resources. Ignoring the issues and not taking advantage of the resources, then committing conduct that jeopardizes your employment, is neither wise nor beneficial to you. Seek out services today that can hopefully address and resolve your issues. If an employee seeks health and wellness services for the first time, only after they have engaged in conduct that violates policy and procedure, that will significantly factor into any disciplinary decisions their own actions cause me to make.
Supervisors, you are in the most important position of all within the department. You are entrusted by me and the people we serve to faithfully give proper instruction, guidance, coaching, training and discipline to your subordinates. When you fail to do this you can single handedly destabilize our department’s foundation and the trust we have built with those we serve. When our employees’ performance is not adequate, or damages relationships with our communities or co-workers, I will reasonably ask and inquire “where was their supervision?” Be the exemplary supervisor that you would want to work for. As your Chief, I will support you in your good faith mistakes. Don’t be passive or too hesitant in making challenging or tough decisions. Your employees are looking to you to lead and make these decisions. Our community expects you to do the same. Create your legacy of leadership by being a professional, active and fair supervisor.
Lastly, my vision does not abandon the important tenets of MPD 2.0. However, we as an organization have now evolved from it. Moving forward, we will focus on procedural justice to create a new MPD culture. Moving forward, our culture will be based on “Trust, Accountability and Professional Service.” We will endeavor to build Trust with our communities, seek to ensure Accountability to those we serve, and strive to deliver the highest Professional Service. We are peace officers and civilian team members of the MPD at a critical time in our city and country where both historical trauma and present day trauma have placed greater importance and responsibility on our service to our communities. The community we serve expects us to be guardians and honorable stewards of the public trust. In these challenging times we have an incredible opportunity to create a new MPD culture and redefine what it means to be true servants of the people.
Public safety is not just the absence of crime; it is the presence of justice. As your Chief I am confident and determined that if you believe and adhere to the vision I have set forth the Minneapolis Police Department, collectively we will be on the right side of history.
Our sworn and civilian team members’ dedication and professionalism make the MPD truly one of the finest police departments in the nation.
Thank you again.
Chief Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo