Mark Montgomery gets ribbed by his fellow Minneapolis police officers about how he was kicked out of the 1994 Rose Bowl for fighting when he played for the University of Wisconsin football team.
But on Tuesday, it was respect all around as Montgomery and 23 other officers’ promotions to supervisory positions were made official.
They advanced to the ranks of inspector, lieutenant and sergeant, a group that, more so than any other in the department, have a big hand in changing police culture, Chief Medaria Arradondo said Tuesday.
“These are the men and women that are going to do that,” he told several hundred politicians, family members, friends and colleagues at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in south Minneapolis.
The newly minted supervisors come from a variety of backgrounds: seven are minorities and five are women.
Eddie Frizell, a highly decorated commander with a military background, was promoted from lieutenant to inspector of the downtown First Precinct, a politically sensitive post that is seen as a springboard to the department’s front office.
Montgomery, a new lieutenant, comes from a long line of police officers, Arradondo said, while pausing to acknowledge Montgomery’s mother, Debbie, who was St. Paul’s first female patrol officer.
Others who are now lieutenants: Katie Blackwell, Michael Chiappetta, Eric Dison, Donald Jach, Christie Nelson, Mark Osland and Matthew St. George.
Arradondo also singled out Blackwell, who becomes a supervisor in the department’s training unit after most recently working as a detective in the homicide unit, for developing a leadership curriculum program that 130 police and city officials attended.
One of three women among the force’s 44 lieutenants, Blackwell and several of her female colleagues have been followed by a documentary film crew since last spring.
Promoted to sergeant were: Mukhtar Abdulkadir, Walter Alvarado, Kenneth Awalt, Danyelle DeRose, Mack Dominguez, Robert Greer, Shaun Harrington, Monica Hanson, Dean Kriegel, Adam Lepinski, Nicholas McCarthy, Eric Nelson, David O’Connor, Pete Stanton, Patrick Windus and Alice White.
Lepinski, who was presented with a leadership award, has spent the better part of his career investigating gang and gun crimes, including a five-year stint as a task force officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The 14-year department veteran says he is looking forward to his next challenge: supervising some 20 Fifth Precinct officers during the evening shift. “I just felt it was the right time in my career,” he said.