Mayor Betsy Hodges sits with police Chief Janeé Harteau at a meeting./ CARLOS GONZALEZ
Mayor Betsy Hodges appeared on national television Sunday to talk about police-community relations in Minneapolis, an issue that vaulted the first-term mayor to national prominence last fall following a highly publicized dispute with the city’s police union.
Melissa Harris-Perry introduced Hodges as a guest on her eponymous show on MSNBC by mentioning #Pointergate, the Internet firestorm that followed police union chief John Delmonico’s controversial comments in a TV news story questioning the mayor’s support of police officers.
Hodges said on Sunday:
"Minneapolis, like every other city in the country, has been grappling with these issues. What we have in our city, though, is a chief and a mayor both who are committed to strong community policing and doing what's needed to make sure we are working together on behalf of public safety.”
Hodges, who says she and Delmonico have settled their differences, told Harris-Perry that the two are now “working together to make something like that real."
When pressed for specifics on what officials were doing to regain public trust, Hodges pointed to a recently-released U.S. Department of Justice report calling for the Minneapolis Police Department to overhaul its system for identifying and weeding out problem officers – "to make sure that issues get caught before they become problems," as she put it.
Of the department's Community Service Officer program, she said:
"That's the best ladder into the police department that we have for minority communities, for low income folks, and we're having a lot of success there, especially at a time when we're hiring a lot, given all the retirements that are happening."
Watch the full interview below: