After almost two decades under the same leadership, the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis chose a new president Thursday night.
Lt. Bob Kroll, who was named union vice president in 2006, beat out Lt. John Delmonico, who has headed the police union since 1999. Kroll received 414 votes and Delmonico had 228. Ballots for the election were mailed in mid-April.
In a phone interview after the results were announced, Kroll said he wanted to bring “more energy and commitment to the position” and “stronger, more visible representation.”
The union represents the city’s 850 rank-and-file police and park police officers. Its president serves two-year terms and collects about $29,000 a year in salary.
Kroll had nothing but positive things to say Thursday night about his election opponent and longtime collaborator.
“We’ve done a lot of good things for the past 19 years together,” Kroll said about Delmonico. “John’s been a good friend and a very good leader. It just comes with time that transition is inevitable.”
Kroll said he expected to continue to have a good working relationship with Delmonico.
Kroll, a native of St. Paul’s East Side, has been with the police department since 1989. During his career, he has held numerous positions including with the vice squad, SWAT and as the domestic assault unit commander. Kroll was elected as a director of the federation board in 1996.
He also has come under scrutiny in lawsuits over accusations of brutality and has been the focus of several internal probes, one of which led to his demotion.
Kroll was overheard calling U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a DFLer who is Muslim and black, a terrorist, according to a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a group of black officers.
Kroll denied making the comment, but then-Chief Tim Dolan issued a public apology to Ellison and called Kroll’s comments unacceptable.
Last fall, Delmonico, a 27-year department veteran, caused a social media uproar when he questioned Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ support of the city’s officers in a KSTP-TV report that suggested Hodges flashed a gang sign in a picture with a black resident with a criminal past.
The incident became known nationwide as #pointergate. Both Delmonico and the mayor have said they have moved on since the incident.