A veteran Minneapolis police officer with decades of experience in multiple aspects of law enforcement will be the next Chief of Police of the Metro Transit Police Department.
Minneapolis Police Inspector Eddie Frizell will fill the position August 5. Frizell has been serving as the inspector of the First Precinct in Minneapolis, which covers the downtown area, since 2017. He played a key role in the public safety planning for the Super Bowl in 2018. In his 26-year career with the Minneapolis Police Department Frizell has also worked as deputy chief of police, a SWAT negotiator, an internal affairs investigator, and as the inspector of the Fifth Precinct in south Minneapolis. He is also a 30-year veteran of the Minnesota Army National Guard, including two overseas deployments to Bosnia and Kuwait/Iraq. He currently holds the rank of Colonel.
“Inspector Frizell is a proven leader who knows how to work with communities to find solutions,” said Metropolitan Council Regional Administrator Meredith Vadis. “Our buses and trains don’t just travel through our neighborhoods; they are a part of the community. Ensuring that riders and operators are safe is one of our top priorities.”
As chief, Frizell will be leading the growing police force, which provides 24-hour service on the region’s largest transit system and Metro Transit properties. The department has 120 full-time and 60 part-time officers and is expected to add more as the Southwest LRT project enters revenue service in 2023.
“Our police department serves seven counties, about 130 transit routes, and riders who take more than 80 million rides every year,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Nora Slawik. “Eddie Frizell will take us into the future, working with a standard of service excellence for each of those riders and our growing system. His experience in working with a variety of communities will serve our entire region well, including partnerships that extend beyond Metro Transit’s rails and bus routes.”
Metro Transit is a division of the Metropolitan Council.
Frizell becomes the department’s eighth police chief. The most recent permanent chief was John Harrington, who stepped down earlier this year to become the new Commissioner of Public Safety in the administration of Governor Tim Walz.
“I am confident that Eddie Frizell will work with the men and women of the Metro Transit Police Department to exemplify a commitment to safety and security,” said Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra.
Frizell said he was both humbled and honored to be named the Chief of a department known for its diverse workforce.
“I look forward to leading the group of law enforcement professionals at the Metro Transit Police Department as we continue to serve our region with respect, professionalism and a commitment to guardianship for our riders, employees and the communities throughout our transit system,” Frizell said.
The Met Council and Metro Transit’s commitment to community engagement was demonstrated by the selection process that resulted in Inspector Frizell’s appointment. Several community members and police officers from partner agencies assisted with interviews. And a public interview, with questions from community members and partner agencies, was one of the final pieces that provided insight into the qualifications of the finalists for the position.
Among the priorities Frizell stated in the public interview are community-based solutions and strong relationships with community to support policing on our transit system. He also cited continuing to hire diverse officers that reflect the communities served.
“Under Inspector Frizell’s leadership, we will continue to improve by engaging with neighborhoods and people in the region,” said Vadis. “That feedback is essential to our success.”