UPDATE: On Wednesday evening, Chief Harteau said she made the moves with the department's best interests in mind.
"This truly is about professional growth and development of both the individuals and the organization," she said. "I don't make change for the sake of change or just shake things up."
ORIGINAL POST: Minneapolis police commander Bruce Folkens, a 27-year veteran of the force who has headed the Special Crimes Investigations Division since 2013, is being promoted to deputy chief of the department’s Investigations Bureau.
“Deputy Chief Folkens has not only been successful and instrumental in leading our Special Crimes Investigations Division, he has greatly enhanced our juvenile diversion outreach efforts,” said Chief Janeé Harteau said in a news release posted Wednesday on the department’s new website and Facebook page. “His ability to lead and inspire officers, combined with his tireless efforts to connect with our community leaders and aggressively go after some of the city’s most violent offenders, make him a perfect fit for this position.”
Folkens began his career as a beat cop in the Fifth Precinct in 1988 and worked his way up to commander, with stints in the homicide, gang and narcotics units along the way. After taking over the special crimes division, he was credited with doubling the number of sex trafficking arrests, as part of the department’s Guardian Angel Operations program, while clearance rates for domestic violence crimes have also increased under his command, officials said.
Stepping into his shoes will be Commander Catherine Johnson, who used to run the Violent Crimes Investigations Division. She, in turn, will be replaced by Commander Christopher Granger, a former homicide detective who most recently headed up the department’s internal affairs unit.
Also as part of Harteau's latest leadership shakeup, Commander Jason Case named to take over Granger’s old post and Commander Troy Schoenberger as will lead the Leadership and Organizational Development Division. Harteau singled out that division, saying it forms the backbone of her MPD 2.0 plan, "focusing on the professional development of every employee at every level."
About Schoenberge, Harteau said:
“Commander Shoenberger is an experienced cop and a proven leader who will now help us groom and grow the next generation of proud officers within the MPD. I am excited to see what we will accomplish after bringing his energy and input into the division.”
The changes will be effective on Oct. 18.
Folkens, who will be put in command of the investigative division, which includes the Violent Crimes (assault, weapons, homicide, robbery, Safe Streets and other units) and Special Crimes (the crimes against children, domestic assault, juvenile investigations, juvenile outreach & diversion, licensing, financial crimes, sex crimes, predatory offender units and the Police Athletic League) – divisions, replaces Kris Arneson, who was named assistant chief in June.
Harteau was recently reappointed to a second term as the city's top cop, amid fevered speculation inside police headquarters and City Hall that she wouldn't be brought back by Mayor Betsy Hodges.
Police union officials said that the uncertainty surrounding Harteau’s future with the MPD forced the chief to delay appointments to several high-level posts, including naming a replacement for Arneson, who became the department’s second-in-command after Matt Clark left to take the top job at the University of Minnesota’s police force.