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1-on-1 with MPD chief nominee Brian O'Hara

MINNEAPOLIS — The man who could become the next Minneapolis Police Chief is on a listening tour.

Brian O’Hara has spent the past couple of weeks meeting with community members and riding with police officers to see what’s needed to make them more safe.

For the first time since becoming the mayor’s choice for chief, he sat down with WCCO’s Reg Chapman to talk about his priorities.

O’Hara is busy learning the intricacies of a city at the forefront of a movement to reshape policing. He knows it will take a joint effort between law enforcement and the community to create change.

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Brian O’Hara sits down with Reg Chapman

CBS

“People in the community are definitely, similar to police officers, they are looking for change. People in this city have been through a lot, there has been a lot of trauma that has been experienced here, both in the community and in the police department,” O’Hara said. “I see these kinds of forces are coming together and I think there is going to be, I think, the pendulum is going to shift back towards rebuilding.”

If selected as the next police chief in Minneapolis, O’Hara knows rebuilding is key. Rebuilding the ranks of a depleted police department and rebuilding trust for police in the community.

“I think a lot of the challenges that we’re going to be facing — particularly around how to deal with gun violence with reduced staffing, and also how to enhance legitimacy, build legitimacy in the community, deal with police reform — those are things that I am familiar with so I will work with all the partners, all the stakeholders who are willing to be a part of this to try and drive that change,” he said.

O’Hara says his No. 1 priority is “gun violence, absolutely.”

He knows it will be a collaborative effort to stop the blood shed. He also knows he needs more officers on the street to play a role. He is onboard when it comes to Mayor Jacob Frey’s financial incentives to recruit and retain officers but he believes there has to be more than just money to get home grown recruits.

“I think people here are hungry for change,” he said. “They want to know that this work is meaningful, that it’s impactful and that people can live sort of a life of purpose and actually be a part of the change that’s happening here.”

If selected, O’Hara would be the first chief in 16 years to not come from within the ranks of MPD. He will meet with the public again Wednesday afternoon and then the city council will vote on his nomination next Thursday.

Watch a previous report below:


Source: CBS Minnesota

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