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Janeé Harteau is sworn in as Minneapolis's Chief of Police.
Congratulations to Janeé Harteau, who was sworn in on December 4, 2012 as Minneapolis's 52nd Chief of Police. She took her oath of office in the rotunda of Minneapolis City Hall before a crowd of 300 people. Her life partner Sgt. Holly Keegel and their 13-year-old daughter Lauren stood by her side.
On November 30, 2012, Harteau, a 25-year veteran of the force, was confirmed unanimously by the Minneapolis City Council. She becomes the first woman and first openly gay officer to serve as police chief.
She was appointed by Mayor R.T. Rybak, who told the City Council, "I love the fact that we will have a chief who has worked her way up. She's a smart cop, a savvy administrator and a natural leader," he said.
Harteau and Keegel shared a squad car as patrol officers together in their earlier years on the force, wrote two small books on safety issues, and were sometimes referred to as "Cagney & Lacey," after the characters from a 1980s television police series, according to Randy Furst in a profile in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Furst reports that Harteau "gets a strong endorsement from grizzled department veterans and from police union president, John Delmonico."
But Harteau did not always receive the support of her colleagues. In 1996, she and Keegel filed a sexual harassment and discrimination complaint with the state Human Rights Department. Harteau said officers were interrupting police radio transmissions she and Keegel were making so they could not be heard."
Harteau explained to Furst why she filed the complaint: "People don't have to like me and they don't have to agree with me, but when people interfere with the ability for me to do my job, that's where I drew the line. So it became a matter of public safety."
As for the precedent of having a female, openly gay police chief, Harteau downplayed its significance for her personally.
"For others it might be," she said. "And if I can be a role model . . . I want people to see that you can achieve things despite some obstacles in your way. I stand on my merits on how I got here. I've been given tremendous opportunity."
At the swearing-in ceremony, Harteau said, "I will always stand up and do what is right, even if I stand alone." She added, "There are incredibly high expections for me and there should be."
In the video below, Harteau takes the oath of office.