Over the past 18 months, Harteau has endured the kinds of challenges that every chief dreads. Growing tension with the police union. A spike in overall crime rates. And most challenging of all: the fatal shooting by police of an African-American man, Jamar Clark, under dubious circumstances that prompted an 18-day protest organized by Black Lives Matter.
Harteau weathered these woes with the steadiness that has made her a leadership role model. A 30-year veteran and the city’s first female and first gay police chief, Harteau is the mind behind MPD 2.0, a drive to build trust in the community by putting more cops on the beat. Civic leaders credit her for dismissing cops for misconduct. The officers involved in the Clark shooting were not indicted, but local prosecutors are rethinking the use of secret grand juries in police-involved killings—a victory for the transparency that both Harteau and protesters favor. And Minneapolis was one of the few major U.S. cities to report a significant decline in homicides in 2016.