Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan will not seek a third term as head of the city's police force.
Chief Dolan informed Mayor R.T. Rybak of his intentions earlier this week and shared the news in a memo to the police department and City Council Wednesday morning.
"Tim Dolan stepped in as chief in the middle of a public-safety crisis and immediately began to spearhead a significant, multi-year decrease in crime," Mayor Rybak said. "It wasn't an accident: we worked closely together for months and years on a series of smart strategies that engaged every community in our city and made every part of Minneapolis dramatically safer."
While Dolan's tenure wasn't exactly heavenly, it was a far cry from the hell of the "Murderapolis" days of the early '90s. In fact, crime reached record lows under Dolan, but brutality cases and record payouts still plague the department.
"Tim Dolan has overseen the most dramatic reduction in violent crime in recent memory," councilman Don Samuels said. "He has accomplished this in the toughest economy, with a combination of strong leadership, technological innovation and breakthrough strategic thinking. The city is a safer place because of Chief Dolan's excellent service."
Before serving as chief, Dolan help several command and leadership posts in nearly every part of the city, including as deputy chief, inspector and commander of the 4th Precinct in north Minneapolis, commander of narcotics, commander of emergency response and director of training.
In his message this morning Chief Dolan said:
I have given notice to Mayor R.T. Rybak that I will not be seeking a third term when my current term as Chief expires in January of next year.
I started in law enforcement as a Hennepin County Sheriff's Deputy in 1978 and came to the Minneapolis Police Department in 1983. After serving the people of Minnesota for over 34 years I feel it is time to move on to the next stage of life. It has been a great honor to have served here as both acting Chief and Chief since 2006.
I have lived and/or worked in the City of Minneapolis my entire life. Every day that I put on the uniform, I consider myself fortunate and honored to work with the finest team I have known. Thank you all for making that possible.
I will continue my duties as Chief until I retire late this year. I will provide public comment about my career, tenure as chief and future plans at that time.
Now, of course, people are beginning to wonder who will succeed him. There are already several names circulating at City Hall, and many on the City Council seem to be leaning towards internal candidates, saying the MPD is flush with talent.
Assistant Chief Jenee Harteau has spent 25 years on the force, and is said to be a favorite of Rybak -- but so is Insp. Lucy Gerold.
Deputy Chief Rob Allen is also highly respected, and he has a broad background. He is also openly gay.
In the inspector ranks, ther eis also Eddie Frizell, who recently returned from Iraq.
Outside candidates could include former members of the department, like Brooklyn Park Police Chief Michael Davis, or U.S. Marshall Sharon Lubinski.
Tony Bouza was a controversial and outspoken New York cop who became Minneapolis police chief in the early 80s, and he says the department needs another maverick -- even someone like former chief Bill McManus, an outsider who ran roughshod over rank and file.
"What you want is a reformer, and no one's searching for one," he said. "The fundamental problem is: Mayors and council have no idea what they're looking for, and they wind up with a pet rock."
Bouza was nobody's pet rock during his tenure, but Dolan will be sticking around through January, so there is still plenty of time to decide.
Yet there is an opportunity to make history with this new appointment, since the post has historically gone to a white man.