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Who We Are

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Chief Ernest Morales III

Chief of Police

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Ernest Morales III is the Metro Transit Police Department’s ninth police chief. Before coming to the MTPD, he served as the first Deputy Police Commissioner in Mount Vernon, NY, and spent more than 30 years with the New York Police Department, where he was a Deputy Inspector and Commanding Officer in the Transit Bureau. Morales is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds a Master of Science degree in Protection Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 22 years, where he gained experience in national and international security matters. 

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Captain Rick Grates

Patrol Operations

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Captain Grates supervises MTPD’s East Command Patrol Operations, which encompasses Ramsey, Washington, and Dakota counties. Grates is responsible for 30 Patrol Officers, six Sergeants, and one Lieutenant. Grates has over 25 years of service and has served MTPD as various roles, including Patrol Officer, Investigator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and interim Chief. He also is a graduate of St. Cloud State University and the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

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Captain Richard Raymond

Patrol Operations

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Captain Raymond supervises MTPD’s West Command Patrol Operations. He is responsible for over 60 Police Officers, 12 Sergeants and three Lieutenants. Raymond has served the MTPD for 17 years in a number of roles, including Patrol Officer, K9 Officer, and Investigative Sergeant and Lieutenant. He graduated from Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command in 2021.

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Captain Erin Dietz

Training and Professional Standards

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Captain Dietz leads our Professional Standards and Training Division. She oversees the hiring and training of all new officers. Dietz is a 19 year law enforcement veteran and has served a variety of roles with MTPD including Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Counter Threat Team, Investigations Sergeant, Patrol Sergeant, and Lieutenant of Internal Affairs. Dietz holds an M.A. in Criminal Justice Leadership from Concordia University and is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. She has also served with the Air National Guard with the 119 Force Support Squadron in Fargo, ND.

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Captain Joseph R. Dotseth

Support Services

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Captain Dotseth leads the Support Services Division which includes administration support, analytics, asset protection, business technology, finance, procurement, policy development, property and evidence, records, and payroll. The Support Services Division provides critical support to police operations, training, and investigative divisions. He is a 23-year veteran of law enforcement and has served a variety of roles with MTPD including Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Administrative Lieutenant, and Internal Affairs Investigator. Dotseth holds a M.A. in Public Safety Administration from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and is a graduate of Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command #484.

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Lieutenant Lori Ammend


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Lieutenant Ammend oversees the Investigations and Crash Reconstruction Unit, as well as our Real Time Information Center (RTIC). Ammend leads a specialized team that investigates crimes on Metro Transit property, reconstructs crashes involving Metro Transit vehicles, and monitors our 3,000+ surveillance camera system. Prior to this role, Lieutenant Ammend has served as an MTPD Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, and Patrol Sergeant. 

Lieutenant Leonard Keyes

Internal Affairs Unit

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Lieutenant Keyes is currently assigned to the MTPD's Internal Affairs Unit (IAU), which is dedicated to ensuring that the relationship between the department and the community is built upon trust and transparency. The IAU investigates complaints of misconduct and violations of department policy. IAU directly reports to the Chief of Police and coordinates every investigation directly with the Chief. Lieutenant Keyes is a Marine Core Veteran and has served a variety of roles in his career including patrol operations, field training officer, counter-terrorism unit, and patrol supervisor.

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Nikki Muehlhausen

Public Information Officer

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Nikki Muehlhausen serves as the Public Information Officer, handling the department's media relations and social media channels. She is also the Principal Communications Specialist for Metro Transit, with a focus on public safety matters. Muehlhausen joins the MTPD after 18 years in TV news, working in top markets including Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities. Muehlhausen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Radio Broadcasting from Ithaca College and a Master of Arts in Communications from Drake University.

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Joe Reichstadt

Manager of Administration

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Joe Reichstadt is the Manager of Administration, which is responsible for managing the department’s budget, financial transactions, and procurement processes. He provides valuable guidance on forecasting and strategic planning for MTPD. He works closely with senior leadership throughout Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council to provide up-to-date information for all matters related to MTPD’s finances, contracts, and internal best practices. He has been with the Metropolitan Council for more than 15 years, with most of that tenure in a senior leadership role within Metro Transit. He is a veteran of the Air Force and holds a bachelor’s degree with a focus in Business Management from Metropolitan State University.

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Tammy Helgeson

Business Systems Manager

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Tammy Helgeson oversees all law enforcement-related technology projects and software, as well as the Asset Protection, Video, Fleet, Analytics, Records, and Evidence units for the department. Asset Protection includes project management, video cameras, and building access throughout the Met Council. The Video Unit processes requests for all Met Council video systems, as well as MTPD body worn cameras and squad video. Fleet encompasses all squads, including their technology. Analytics includes a Crime Analyst and a Business Systems Analyst. Records is responsible for processing police reports, crime reporting, and data requests; while Evidence receives, catalogs, and safely stores and maintains the integrity of evidence and property. Helgeson has over 20 years of experience working with and leading law enforcement programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota Duluth.