Swearing In Ceremony for Police Chief Tim Dolan
Prepared Remarks by Mayor R.T. Rybak
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
There is nothing more important to the success of every neighborhood in Minneapolis than our goal of making every block in the City a safe place to call home.
Safety is our most important value because it makes everything else possible. When we feel safe, we get to know our neighbors. When we feel safe, our kids are free to explore. When we feel safe, our businesses can thrive. When we feel safe, our schools can be woven more deeply into the community.
Safety is our most basic city service and the irony is that the better we deliver it the less people think about it. The children who walk safely to school, the neighbors who walk to the corner store, the worker who walks home from the bus late at night, the senior sitting safely on their front porch at sunset rarely think that they can only enjoy this kind of life because of the protection provided by their police officers, the police commanders, and their police chief. In our daily life, we usually think most about our police when something has gone wrong.
So it takes a special person to be a police officer—a person who can protect and serve, with strength and compassion, often without recognition—willingly ready to put themselves in harm’s way so others can go about their daily lives. The Minneapolis Police Department is blessed with scores of these people but one clearly rises to the top.
Today we celebrate Minneapolis’ Finest: Tim Dolan. Raised on the city’s North Side, tempered through years as an officer on the street, seasoned as he rose through the ranks, respected and effective every step of the way. Often humble, celebrating the work of others around him more than himself, he leads with honesty, innovation and compassion. He can both inspire our officers and demand accountability.
Appointing Tim Dolan as Chief was one of the most important decisions I’ll make as Mayor. It was also one of the easiest. I want to thank his family, here today, who have also made great sacrifices so that Tim Dolan could serve the citizens of Minneapolis. It’s hard to not have your husband at dinner. It’s hard to not have your dad at a hockey game. We applaud you for your service to our City.
Tim Dolan takes the reins of the Minneapolis Police Department at a critical time: crime has risen significantly in recent years, and the most disturbing reason for that rise is the escalation of violence involving increasingly young, increasingly armed young people being recruited into violent gangs. We cannot shrink from this serious challenge. We need to win not only the peace on the streets, but the hearts and minds of an entire generation.
We have responded to this challenge by giving Chief Dolan significant new tools: more officers on the street, more technology to make those officers effective, a more aggressive attack on chronic offenders, problem properties and juvenile crime. We need to do more and we will do more. We will deliver on our promise to provide the tools needed to attack and prevent crime in this community.
Chief Tim Dolan is the right person at the right time to lead this critical effort, but we need to honestly look each other in the eye and say that no police chief, no police department and even no city government can win this battle in isolation. As we celebrate this strong new leader of the department, let’s each dedicate ourselves to attacking the root causes that have too many kids raising themselves and too many kids having kids of their own, and dedicate ourselves to saying "no" to those who would use our neighborhoods for illegal guns and prostitution.
Tim Dolan, Minneapolis’ Finest, came proudly from the streets of Minneapolis and by working with him we will ensure that every street is a safe place to call home. We will win not only peace on the streets, but the hearts and minds of an entire generation. Thank you.
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011