The first woman to be nominated to lead the Minneapolis Police Department says she feels a bit apprehensive but is ready to become chief.
Since Mayor R.T. Rybak announced her nomination earlier this week, Janee Harteau says she's gotten calls and emails from across the country.
"People are very much cheering for me, cheering for the police department," said Harteau. "And I feel a little bit of an enormous responsibility to be successful."
Harteau rose through the ranks of the Minneapolis Police Department to become an assistant to Chief Tim Dolan, who announced last month he will retire from the police force in January.
Harteau admits it is a job she never dreamed of having.
"I got here frankly on the shoulders of woman and pioneers who came before me, and those within the department," she said. "Leaders are only as good as the people they are surrounded by. And we have tremendous tools and talents not only in the police department, but in the community."
Harteau grew up in Duluth. Harteau acknowledged that she knew from an early age that her ambitions and dreams would never keep her in a small environment.
"I was like a big city girl trapped in a smaller city," said Harteau. "I liked people, I liked differences, and I like movement."
Her desire to make a difference is what led her to Minneapolis and into law enforcement.
"Minneapolis gave me an opportunity and it was an opportunity to meet a wealth of people I had never come in contact with and to really make myself better," Harteau said.
If she is confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council, Harteau says her priority will be to continue Chief Dolan's legacy of reducing violent crime. But she acknowledges that there are still real challenges in north Minneapolis that must be addressed.
"As long as we have unsolved cases like Terrell Mayes our work is not done," she said. "And so we're focusing on what crime trends and patterns we have in the area and using all of our resources and truly understanding what's going on in that area and putting all of our resources towards it."
Most of all, Harteau said she doesn't expect to change much and wants the public to know at the end of the day, the job is about the people of Minneapolis.
"It is a proud moment, but it is also quite frankly a scary moment because I do fell like all eyes are upon me for more than one reason," said Harteau. "It's really not about me, I'm just Janee. And it's about who we serve and about the people that we work with to get us there."