Among the nine Minneapolis police commanders to be recognized during Monday’s promotion ceremony were a training supervisor with stints in the foreign service, SWAT and robbery units, and a 6-year veteran who last worked patrol in the Third Precinct.

Chief Janeé Harteau praised the recently minted sergeants, lieutenants, commanders and inspector for their commitment to the profession and advised them to be “authentic in the way that you (interact) with other people.” She also reminded them that they will inherit greater responsibility.

“Remember, rank and leadership are not synonymous,” she told a roomful of officers, politicians and family members gathered at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in south Minneapolis.

Harteau said that some of the criticism heaped on law enforcement in recent years is intended to be “divisive and create an environment of unrest,” while adding that “we must acknowledge that (as a police department) we can and must get better.”

Harteau later introduced Insp. Catherine Johnson, who in July was given command of the Third Precinct in south Minneapolis. Johnson comes with a criminal investigative background, having most recently commanded the Special Crimes Investigations Division (SCID) and, before that, the violent crimes investigations division, which includes the homicide unit.

As she posed for a photo with Johnson and assistant chief Kris Arneson, the chief quipped that the moment served as “a poster for women in leadership, it’s a recruitment poster.”

Sgt. Deanna Rivard said after the ceremony that the promotions were symbolic of the gains that women had made in law enforcement, but that she sees herself as a “policeman first.” Rivard, who joined the department in 2006, said that she was relieved to have been promoted to patrol supervisor on the Third Precinct’s night shift, a position that would still allow her to “interact with the officers and with the streets.”

Most of the promotions were made over the past year, but only announced this week.

The others were:

  • Sgt. Charles Greaves, who joined the force in 1996 and is currently working the night shift in the Third Precinct.
  • Sgt. Joseph R. Will, a 22-year veteran who works as an investigator in the traffic unit.
  • Sgt. Lucas Peterson, who works in the Second Precinct’s investigations unit; Peterson made headlines in 2013 for his involvement in the shooting death of 22-year-old Terrance Franklin, for which he was later cleared.
  • Lt. Billy Peterson (not related), a training supervisor who joined the department in 1995, working nine years in the Third Precinct, along with stops in the foreign service, SWAT and robbery units.
  • Lt. Christopher House, a one-time investigator in the gang and weapons units, who is a lieutenant on the day shift in the First Precinct.
  • Cmdr. Melissa Chiodo, former head of the sex crimes unit, who recently took over SCID. Chiodo, after stops in four of the five precincts and a five-year stint in Internal Affairs.
  • Cmdr. Erick Fors, who runs the Violent Crimes Investigations Division, which oversees the robbery, family violence, sex crimes and forgery/fraud units, after working in juvenile crimes and homicide, among other units.