Frey announces Deputy Newark Mayor final MPD chief nominee

After a national search and three recently named finalists, Mayor Jacob Frey announced his final nomination to be submitted to City Council.

The UMPD building is open on East Bank campus.

Image by Ellen Schmidt

The UMPD building is open on East Bank campus.

by Alex Steil

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced on Thursday that Newark, New Jersey’s Deputy Mayor Brian O’Hara is his final nominee for Minneapolis Chief of Police. The announcement comes after a national search was conducted by an outside firm and Frey named the three finalists on Sept. 7.

O’Hara served as a police officer for 15 years before being appointed public safety director for Newark and was chosen by Frey over Dr. RaShall Brackney and Elvin Barren. The nomination will be sent to the Minneapolis City Council for final approval on Oct. 6.

During a press conference announcing the decision, Frey emphasized O’Hara’s past experience working with the Department of Justices’ consent decrees, which are binding legal agreements issued by judges and enforced by the courts. O’Hara would start as Minneapolis chief of police in a time when the Minneapolis Police Department is still under a civil rights investigation launched by the DOJ in April 2021.

MPD has been without a permanent chief since December 2021, after Medaria Arradondo retired. Amelia Huffman has held the position in an interim capacity since his retirement.

“It should be clear by now to all that the idea that policing can simply go away, will be abolished, is just unrealistic,” O’Hara said in the Sept. 29 conference announcing his nomination. “The foundation of policing is trust, and as the Minneapolis chief of police, I will work day and night to ensure that the residents of Minneapolis can feel safe, and that all people can trust the MPD to have their backs.”