A new Minneapolis police division focused on neighborhood outreach and smoothing police-community relations was launched this week, with a familiar face at the helm.
The Division of Community & Collaborative Advancement, or CCA, will be made up of a mix of about 40 sworn officers and civilians from various units: the department's Community Engagement Team, the police Community Support Team and the Cedar Riverside-West Bank Safety Center. The division will be run by newly promoted Cmdr. Charlie Adams, a longtime detective and lifelong North Sider who has maintained deep connections to the community.
Its mission is: Building trust between officers and residents, at a time when police agencies across the country are under pressure to address the anger and frustration that have inspired widespread protests.
"This is something that I truly believe in — community involvement," Adams said in an interview Wednesday at police headquarters downtown.
His role will include everything from attending community meetings to overseeing implicit bias and procedural justice training.
Police Chief Janeé Harteau said that Adams, whose 31-year career with the department includes stints with the Homicide Unit and, most recently, Internal Affairs, was a natural fit for the job.
He was promoted to commander this week and will officially take over the unit on Sunday.
"Commander Adams' legacy is felt everyday through his work, not to mention the work of his brother, son and daughter, all members of our department," Harteau said in a news release. "I am confident Charlie will continue his legacy through this new position, which will ensure the MPD continues its progressive initiatives and community policing plans in the years to come."
Adams' son and daughter work for the department, and his brother, Tony, runs the Police Athletics League program.
The responsibilities of the outfits under Adams' command will remain unchanged. But, Harteau said, by bringing the department's community-oriented units "under the one umbrella, it helps us make those connections" with residents.