Harteau Wins National Award Weeks After Her Resignation

Award honors a woman law enforcement executive who made sustained and significant contributions to the field of law enforcement over the course of her career

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Three weeks after her resignation, former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau won a national award from the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).

NAWLEE recognized Harteau as the “2017 Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year,” also known as the WoLEEY Award. The award is to honor a “Woman Law Enforcement Executive who has made sustained and significant contributions to the field of law enforcement over the course of her career,” according to the organization’s website.

Harteau resigned her position on July 21 at the request of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. Her resignation came shortly after the shooting of Justine Damond by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in South Minneapolis on July 15 after Damond called police to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her residence. Hodges wrote in a statement after the shooting, “…I’ve lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead us further — and from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, especially this week, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well.”

Harteau, who was on a backpacking vacation in a remote mountainous area at the time of the Damond shooting, was replaced by department veteran Medaria Arradondo.

Harteau received the honor today at the NAWLEE Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. She wrote on her Facebook page, “Thank you NAWLEE and Motorola for such an incredible recognition and award. Nothing good is ever done alone and I’m thankful to those who’ve been with me every step of the way at work and at home. Today this honor is for each of you.”

The award is based on the following criteria: impact on improving women’s career paths and advancement in law enforcement; personal leadership and involvement achievements; innovation and creativity; measurable, observable special achievements and/or contributions to improving the quality of law enforcement; demonstrates support of NAWLEE goals through leadership, mentoring, advocating and advising; and balance of results oriented performance with community satisfaction and employee perspectives.

In March, Harteau was recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” along with other notable leaders such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein. Harteau was honored for her “steadiness” in facing challenges like the shooting of Jamar Clark and the protests that followed the shooting, placing more police officers on the street to help ameliorate tensions between citizens and the police and the significant decline in homicides in Minneapolis.

Harteau was appointed Minneapolis Chief of Police by Mayor RT Rybak in 2012 and was the first female police chief in the history of the city.



Donna Azarian