A trailblazer in regulation enforcement introduced she is operating for Hennepin County sheriff.
Suwana Kirkland, president of Minnesota’s Nationwide Black Police Affiliation chapter, made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. Kirkland, who lives in Rogers, is director of Dakota County Neighborhood Corrections, a place she has held for nearly a 12 months, and is an adjunct teacher on the College of St. Thomas, in keeping with her LinkedIn profile.
“Everybody deserves a protected group,” she mentioned in an interview Wednesday evening. “I have been making ready for this chance for the final 15 years. I’ve held numerous positions in regulation enforcement and I used each alternative to study and develop.”
The information of Kirkland’s run was first tweeted by an Axios reporter Wednesday.
Earlier than her work at Dakota County, Kirkland was the first Black woman to work as deputy sheriff on the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Workplace, a place she held for about 14 years.
There Kirkland was additionally the primary Black girl to be promoted to sergeant and commander. She launched a women’s academy, a girls’s-only introduction to regulation enforcement — in an effort to recruit extra girls to the trade.
Kirkland landed her first police job in 2005 with Minnetonka police, as the primary African American within the division.
She beforehand advised the Star Tribune she opposed calls from some activists to defund or dismantle the Minneapolis Police Division following George Floyd’s demise. Kirkland additionally mentioned she agreed reforms are wanted — from extra implicit bias coaching to rising de-escalation training to cut back using drive.
Apart from hiring extra individuals of coloration, Kirkland beforehand advised the Star Tribune officers must get out locally extra, not simply present up when somebody calls 911.
“Regulation enforcement has gotten away from telling the group about why you are doing what you are doing,” she mentioned. “Day-after-day, I get up and … I am working for somebody apart from myself. I am working to make the occupation, the interactions and the engagement higher.”
The announcement comes as Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson was sentenced for drunken driving after crashing his work car close to Alexandria, Minn. His blood alcohol stage was practically twice the state’s authorized restrict.
On Wednesday, Hennepin County Commissioner Irene Fernando issued a press release calling on Hutchinson to resign, saying his actions are “egregious, and his feedback because the crash are unjustifiable.”
Commissioner Jeffrey Lunde later tweeted a press release supporting Fernando’s place.
Workers author Kelly Smith contributed to this report.