Former Minneapolis Police Chief Harteau named president of policing app company

September 26, 2018

Former Minneapolis police Chief Jane Harteau was named president of the law enforcement technology company Vitals on Tuesday, with a mission of changing the way the police interact with people in crisis.

Harteau, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, takes over reins of the Golden Valley-based company after serving 11 months as its chief public safety strategist. Vitals officials say Harteau led the companys expansion to law enforcement agencies around the country. The Vitals app is currently being used by 25 departments statewide, with others expected to follow in coming months, company officials said. Harteau will start her new role immediately.

Harteau wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday that she was thrilled with her new role at a company that was a force for social good.

This is a tremendous opportunity for me to continue to serve both of those in new and innovative ways to build safer communities and help build trusting relationships between first responders and the people they protect, she said in a separate statement.

Harteau, the departments first female chief, was forced to resign last July amid controversy over the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, by then-officer Mohamed Noor, who awaits trial on murder and manslaughter charges. After her departure from the department, Harteau launched a consulting company, Titanium Leadership LLC, through which she said she would continue her work of trying new ways of policing.

The Vitals smartphone app is designed to improve interactions between first responders and individuals with physical, behavioral, mental, or developmental conditions through the use of signaling beacon and smartphone app technologies, according to the companys website.

Its aimed at various groups who have invisible disabilities and cant always communicate effectively in potentially dangerous encounters with police, according to company officials. That includes people with autism spectrum disorder, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, other mental health issues, diabetes and seizure disorders.

The app contains data about a persons diagnosis, behavior triggers, medications and caregiver contact information, as well as suggested ways to calm the person. Officers receive an alert when theyre within 30-80 feet of someone who has a profile on file.

Vitals CEO Steve Mase praised Harteau for her communication and leadership.

In the past year Ive worked with Jane, Ive seen firsthand her passion for enhancing law enforcement and the empathy that she has for vulnerable individuals and families, he said in a news release.

Libor Jany 612-673-4064 Twitter:@StribJany

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