Police recognize bravery, extraordinary service

Police Chief Janeé Harteau recently honored several Police Department employees and other City employees for their exceptional service. Risking their lives for the safety of others, providing safe spaces for Minneapolis children to learn and grow, solving bank robberies, saving lives, helping create positive change in the Police Department and more, the employees earned honors for keeping the city and the people in it safe.

Watch a short video of the ceremony. Read the chief’s remarks on the award winners:

Medal of Valor

“In the early morning hours of Aug. 22, Officer Brent Rasmussen walked out the front door of the 1st Precinct toward his parked squad when he noticed an extremely violent fight among six to eight males. The males were kicking, punching and stomping on each other. As the officer ran toward the fight, he witnessed a male reach into his front waistband and remove a handgun. That suspect began chasing one of the other males who had been involved in the fight, and the male with the gun was closing in on his target, pointing his weapon at the other male’s head …

“This was during bar close; there were people everywhere and the scene was quite chaotic. Officer Rasmussen continued to run through the crowd and close the gap as he chased the suspect. He could not safely discharge his firearm; there were simply too many people in the area, so he ordered the suspect to drop his gun. The suspect stopped, but refused to drop his weapon. The officer continued to order him to drop the gun, concerned for the safety of the dozens of people who were in the area. Finally, the suspect complied and was taken into custody without further incident.

“According to his supervising sergeant, the officer showed incredible restraint, solid decision-making skills and great courage and heroism. These selfless and professional actions are more than deserving of a Medal of Valor. Officer Rasmussen has made the Minneapolis Police proud.”

Watch a video of Officer Rasmussen receiving his award.

Lifesaving awards 

Chief’s Award of Merit

o   “Our Communications Subcommittee (Public Information Officer Scott Seroka, Sgt. Katie Blackwell, Officer Cory Fitch, Council Member Cam Gordon and members of the public) met several times to help formulate a plan to increase transparency by improving how our department communicates with residents, stakeholders and members of the Twin Cities media. The team helped determine what content we would produce for the Police Department’s new website, INSIDE M-P-D. The group also identified and pushed the Police Department to use more video to tell stories and was instrumental in guiding us to hire our multimedia specialist. In fact, a member of our steering committee helped us produce a groundbreaking video that vividly captures the history of our African American officers in conjunction with Black History Month ...
“The group urged our department to reach out to smaller, neighborhood-based media outlets. The Police Department has brought in two sworn officers who are now helping bridge the gap between cops and the community as spokespersons for the department.”

o   “Members of the Community Engagement Subcommittee (Police Community Engagement Coordinator Sherman Patterson, Sgt. Ali Abdiwahab, Officers Carlos Baires Escobar and Cory Fitch, Nnamdi Okoronkwo, Council Member Andrew Johnson and members of the public) really rolled up their sleeves to develop a comprehensive plan to increase the Police Department’s efforts to reach out to the communities and residents we serve. I can’t tell you how important this topic is, and we were extremely lucky to have such a dynamic group who took part in many robust discussions. This group is an excellent example of police and community members working together to increase the effectiveness of our community policing initiatives. The group’s work has been very influential in a number of programs, particularly as it relates to helping, guiding and keeping the youngest members of our city safe and engaged.
“The Community Engagement Subcommittee also helped the Police Department continue its ‘Cops out of Cars’ and beat officer programs by outlining better ways officers can interact with residents in non-crisis situations. Finally, the committee helped the Police Department continue its cultural competency training and reconciliation and healing efforts with diverse groups of residents throughout the city. It’s safe to say we’ll see the results of the Community Engagement Subcommittee’s work for years to come.”

o   “One of the key recommendations made by the Office of Justice Programs was for the Police Department to produce a new, automated, prevention-oriented Early Intervention System. The system will improve officer performance and manage risks associated with the ever dynamic work of police officers. The automated system flags officer conduct that, if left unchecked, may lead to lower performance. The system allows supervisors to address certain patterns of behavior and correct issues with an employee before they become more serious or lead to more serious issues.
“The Early Intervention System Subcommittee (Cmdr. Scott Gerlicher, Asst. City Attorney Trina Chernos, Officer Dave O’Connor, Police Department Health and Wellness Coordinator Jennifer Rudlong-Smith, Mayor’s Senior Policy Aide in Public Safety and Civil Rights Nicole Archbold and members of the public) was made up of a diverse group of individuals with significant expertise on this topic. This work was very important, and the end result was a program developed by officers, attorneys and community stakeholders that will help officers and build public trust. This wasn’t an easy process, but … it was thorough.”

o   “The work of the Performance Mentoring Subcommittee (Lt. Art Knight, Sgts. Wendy Liotta and Sherral Schmidt, Human Resources Generalist Destiny Xiong, Minneapolis Promise Zone Manager  Julianne Leerssen, City Council Associate Ger Yang, Law Enforcement Analyst Ryan Patrick and members of the public) needs to be more than recognized, it needs to be rewarded. The officers, city employees and community members in this group were tasked with coming up with a system to strengthen overall performance management systems by improving training for supervisors who are coaches for our employees. As part of this work, committee members also worked to develop documentation to track goals and expectations of supervisors and made improvements to the coaching process and provided more resources to our employees.
“Supervisors now have easy access guides and training materials that will help them lead their teams as they measure performance through regular check-ins. Furthermore, the committee took significant steps in producing programs that not only help the MPD identify its next leaders, their work will help those future leaders track their progress on what we call our Leadership Roadmap. An eight-hour, non-technical supervisor class and a supervisor academy are also in the works.”

o   “Our Police Conduct and Oversight Subcommittee (Cmdrs. Jason Case and Chris Granger, Lt. Henry Halvorson, Sgt. Thomas Schmid, Office of Police Conduct Review Director Imani Jaafar, Law Enforcement Analyst Ryan Patrick, City Council Policy Aide Ken Dahler, Council Member Linea Palmisano and members of the public) had one main goal: to ensure that the system for addressing allegations of misconduct is comprehensive, accessible, fair and transparent. The team created a unified complaint manual, which gives residents and employees a clear and concise resource describing the complaint process and sequence of events that make up that process. There are a number of paths an investigation into a complaint can take and a number of steps associated that investigation. It can be confusing, so members of the Police Department and the Office of Police Conduct Review, at the urging of the Police Conduct and Oversight Subcommittee, have been working hard to educate dozens of groups on how it all works.
“Committee members recommended the Police Department adjust investigation timelines to keep cases moving more efficiently through the process, bringing quicker resolutions for everyone involved. Following up with the parties involved will also reassure complainants that their concerns are being taken seriously and their cases are moving forward ... Quarterly reports from the Office of Police Conduct Review and the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit are posted online for anyone and everyone to see.
“This isn’t easy work. It’s time consuming but it’s critically important for us.”

o    “Overseeing the important work of the five subcommittees was our nine-member Steering Committee (Lts. Bob Kroll and John Delmonico, Sgt. Mohamed Abdullahi, Mayor’s Chief of Staff John Stiles, Council Member Blong Yang and members of the public). The committee chairs reported to the Steering Committee, which offered guidance, ideas and input before giving each committee plan the final stamp of approval …
“For 18 months, the Steering Committee took responsibility for the progress and performance of these subcommittees, working tirelessly as they went over each idea and plan and program with a fine-tooth comb. The entire process was the result of strong minds and hearts working together to create meaningful change and improvement.”

Excellence in Investigation

“Bank robbery cases aren’t always the easiest to crack, but it helps when investigators arrive quickly and work quickly. Sgt. Ryan McCann was working … one day in March when a bank robbery call came in. A suspect gave a teller a note saying he was armed with a semi-automatic weapon and demanded cash from the drawer. He got cash, and he got some bait bills, which he carried out of the US Bank on Lake Street.

“Immediately, the sergeant called in to our intel teams and located video of the suspect running toward Global Market. Sgt. McCann also ran toward the Global Market, where he found security guards who showed him footage of the suspect walking toward the elevators of a nearby apartment building. The same security guards told the investigator that the suspect in the video has been trespassed from the market, and after running his name, the sarge learned he had a previous bank robbery conviction. He also quickly learned that the suspect associated with people who lived in a third-floor apartment.

“FBI agents joined Police Department officers at the building, where the suspect was taken into custody. A search warrant of that third-floor apartment helped officers recover the stolen loot.”

Published Nov 29, 2016



Contact us

Email updates

Find a service

About this site

For employees

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 


311 call center

311 TTY relay service

City of Minneapolis Facebook City of Minneapolis Twitter City of Minneapolis YouTube ChaNNEL Minneapolis 311 Minneapolis 14 Government TV City of Minneapolis LinkedIn

Minneapolis, City of Lakes logo