MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Former Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo celebrated his retirement on Saturday.
Arradondo left in January after 32 years with the department. He was named the city's first Black police chief in 2017.
Arradondo says he's in a good place since leaving MPD.
"That part of giving back to this city will always be there for me and it's such an honor," he said. "I'm very humbled and blessed."
Before the ceremony, Arradondo reflected on his tenure.
"I'm most proud of the fact that I was able to work with some of the most dedicated men and women who put the uniform on," he said. "I'm also most proud of the fact that our city ... they've really tried to work together to say, 'How can we create a better tomorrow, a better future?'"
Three of Arradondo's former officers were federally convicted this week in the death of George Floyd.
"The jury came to their decision, and I absolutely respect their decision," he said. "We always have to be accountable to those that we serve."
MPD's search warrant policy is also under the microscope after SWAT officers killed Amir Locke in a raid this month.
"Having experienced some crises on my own watch before, I certainly have an understanding what goes into trying to manage some of the most difficult times and trying to navigate that," Arradondo said.
Several clergy and community leaders lavished Arradondo with praise Saturday.
"This celebration is necessary, but it's like a funeral when you leave this man," said Spike Moss. "You're sitting here with royalty up on the stage."
Gov. Tim Walz was scheduled to speak, but in his place, Minnesota Sen. Bobby Joe Champion read a proclamation declaring Saturday "Medaria Arradondo Day" in Minnesota.
So what's next for the man many simply call "Rondo"?
"I want to, at some point, do something many Americans do every year, and that's take a vacation," Arradondo said.
The former chief says he's excited for a new opportunity, which will not be in public safety.
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