Mayor Jacob Frey announced his pick for the next commissioner of community safety, Hennepin Chief Judge Toddrick Barnette, on September 11. Cedric Alexander, the City’s first commissioner of community safety, retired September 1.
Alexander faced criticism for his lack of work to change the City’s public safety system, as he ran the City’s new Office of Community Safety. Lee Sheehy has been the interim commissioner since Alexander left the position. As reported by the Star Tribune, Sheehy served as an interim deputy city operations officer for development, health and livability in June. Sheehy will remain in the interim community safety commissioner until Barnette’s appointment is approved by City Council, which is likely to occur at its September 21 meeting.
Barnette was a speaker at a neighbor-organized Hennepin County judges listening session held in July. During the session Barnette argued that a lack of resources was a major barrier to increased safety in Minneapolis.
“There’s not one justice partner that’s not overworking," Barnette said at the listening session. "I wish we had enough money so that we could react swiftly. But we have to react to crisis every single day. That’s the reality of our system."