Minneapolis Police Inspector Charlie Adams was greeted with a surprise party by his community members on Thursday, September 21, 2023. They presented him with a plaque to recognize his 37 years of service as a police officer and his efforts to build trust and mentor youth in the North Side community.
A Son of the City
Adams grew up in the low-income federal housing projects in the North Side and experienced firsthand the challenges and struggles of living in a marginalized community. He also faced discrimination and harassment from some white police officers who viewed him and his friends with suspicion. He decided to join the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in 1987, hoping to change the system from within and make a positive difference in his community.
Throughout his career, Adams has been a vocal advocate for diversifying the police force and recruiting more Black officers who understand the culture and needs of the community. He faced resistance and backlash from some of his colleagues and superiors, who did not share his vision or appreciate his outspokenness. He was one of five Black officers who sued the department in 2007 for creating a hostile work environment and treating them unfairly. The lawsuit was settled out of court for $740,000.
Despite the challenges, Adams rose through the ranks and became the first Northsider to lead the Fourth Precinct in 2020, following the murder of George Floyd and amid a polarizing debate about the role of law enforcement in society. He was appointed by former Chief Medaria Arradondo, who praised him as a leader who could bridge the gap between the police and the community.
A Mentor and a Coach
Adams is not only a police officer, but also a mentor and a coach to many young people in the North Side. He has been involved in various youth programs and initiatives, such as coaching football at North High School, organizing basketball tournaments, and providing scholarships and opportunities for students. He has also been instrumental in fostering positive relationships and creating a sense of trust between the police and the community.
Many of his former mentees and players have gone on to pursue successful careers in different fields, such as law, education, business, and sports. Some of them have even followed his footsteps and joined the MPD. They credit Adams for inspiring them, guiding them, and supporting them throughout their lives.
Adams is known for his honesty, integrity, compassion, and dedication. He is respected and admired by his community members, who consider him as a role model and a friend. He is also loved by his family, who are proud of his achievements and contributions.
A Gold Standard
At the surprise party, Adams was greeted with applause, hugs, and words of appreciation from dozens of people who came to honor him. Among them were civil rights activists, community leaders, elected officials, fellow officers, former mentees, friends, and family members. They presented him with a plaque that read: “Inspector Charlie Adams: Going Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty.”
Gerald Moore, a retired MPD commander who once served as Adams’ field training officer, described him as the “gold standard” of police officers. He said that he wished there were more people like him in the department and in the society.
Spike Moss, a civil rights activist who has known Adams since he was a child, said that he was proud of him for breaking barriers and achieving his goals. He pointed out that Adams was one of many Black leaders who have risen to top positions within the police and fire department.
Adams thanked everyone for their support and kindness. He said that he was humbled by the recognition and that he loved his job and his community. He said that he would continue to serve with honor and dignity until he retires next year.