Skip to main content

Who We Are


Photo of Ernest Morales III

Chief Ernest Morales III

ernest.morales@transitpd.org

Ernest Morales III is the Metro Transit Police Department’s ninth police chief. Before coming to Metro Transit, he served as the first Deputy Police Commissioner in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and spent more than 30 years at the New York City Police Department. At the New York City Police Department, Morales rose through the public safety ranks, holding positions such as Deputy Inspector and Commanding Officer in the Transit Bureau. As Commanding Officer, he led 180 police officers who patrolled 42 subway stations. Morales has a Master of Science in protection management and a Bachelor of Science in police administration. He is an FBI National Academy graduate (Session 214) and retired with 22 years of U.S. Navy Reserve experience, including joint and international exposure involving high-level national security matters. At the Metro Transit Police Department, Morales will focus on recruiting police officers, improving conditions on the system, and strengthening relationships with riders, staff, and community.  


Photo of Richard Grates

Captain Rick Grates

richard.grates@transitpd.org

Captain Grates supervises MTPD’s patrol operations, which encompasses both MTPD West Command and MTPD East Command. Captain Grates is responsible for over 80 officers, 12 Sergeants and three Lieutenants. He oversees special events and planning along with determining deployment of the MTPD’s 47 part-time police officers. MTPD’s CompStat program is one of the many strategic initiatives used by the patrol division to determine officer deployments. Community Oriented Policing along with CompStat are focal points for the patrol division. Captain Grates has over 25 years of service and has served MTPD as a patrol officer, investigator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and interim Chief. He also is a graduate of Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command.


Photo of Richard Raymond

Captain Richard Raymond

Patrol Operations

richard.raymond@transitpd.org

Captain Raymond supervises MTPD’s patrol operations, which encompasses both MTPD West Command and MTPD East Command. He is responsible for over 60 officers, 12 sergeants and three lieutenants. He also oversees special events and planning along with determining deployment of the MTPD’s 52 part-time police officers. MTPD’s CompStat program is one of the many strategic initiatives used by the patrol division to determine officer deployments. Community Oriented Policing along with CompStat are focal points for the patrol division. Captain Raymond served Metro Transit Police for 17 years and has served MTPD as a patrol officer, K9 officer, investigative sergeant and lieutenant, and patrol sergeant and lieutenant, where he oversaw the K9 unit. He graduated from Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command in 2021.


Photo of Erin Dietz

Captain Erin Dietz

Training and Professional Standards

erin.dietz@transitpd.org

Captain Dietz leads MTPD’s Professional Standards & Training Division and chairs the Use of Force Review Board and the Department’s Uniform Committee. Captain Dietz is responsible for the recruiting, hiring, backgrounding, and training of all new officers entering the ranks at Metro Transit Police Department. Captain Dietz serves as the Field Training Coordinator and Instructor for officers matriculating from MTPD’s Police Academy to full-time patrol. The Training Unit conducts internal training and coordinates all department training for full-time and part-time officers. Captain Dietz holds a M.A. in Criminal Justice Leadership from Concordia University and has served with the Air National Guard. Captain Dietz is a graduate of the Northwestern University of School Police Staff and Command.


Photo of Joseph Dotseth

Captain Joseph R. Dotseth

Support Services

joseph.dotseth@transitpd.org

Captain Dotseth leads the Support Services Division which includes administration support, asset protection, business technology, finance, procurement, records, and payroll. Support Services has grown rapidly over the last few years and includes 23 employees who provide critical support to police operations, training, and investigative divisions. Captain Dotseth is a 21-year veteran of law enforcement and has served a variety of roles with MTPD to include: patrol officer, beat officer, field training officer, patrol Sergeant, administrative Lieutenant, and Internal Affairs Investigator. Captain 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.


Photo of Lori Ammend

Lieutenant Lori Ammend

Investigations

lori.ammend@transitpd.org

Lieutenant Ammend oversees the investigations unit, crash reconstruction unit, Real Time Information Center (RTIC), and the property/evidence room. The investigations division is responsible for investigating all types of crimes occurring on Metro Transit property and conducts on-scene and follow-up investigations. The crash reconstruction unit investigates serious incidents involving Metro Transit vehicles, including buses, light rail, and commuter rail. The investigators assigned to the crash reconstruction team receive advanced training and have specialized equipment assigned to them. The RTIC observes and confirms crimes and suspects of crimes in real time by reviewing multiple cameras throughout the system. Lieutenant Ammend has served in a variety of roles at MTPD, including patrol officer, field training officer, patrol sergeant, Transit Crimes Unit sergeant and investigative sergeant.


Lieutenant Leonard Keyes

Internal Affairs Unit

leonard.keyes@transitpd.org

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 to include: patrol operations, field training officer, counter-terrorism unit, patrol supervisor and internal affairs investigator.


Photo of Joe Reichstadt

Joe Reichstadt

Manager of Administration

joseph.reichstadt@transitpd.org

Reichstadt is the Manager of Administration, which is responsible for managing the department’s budget, financial transactions, and procurement processes. Joe 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.


Photo of Tamara Helgeson

Tamara Helgeson

Business Systems Manager

tamara.helgeson@transitpd.org

Helgeson oversees all law enforcement related technology projects and software, as well as the Asset Protection, Video, Fleet, Analytics, and Records 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, data requests, etc. She 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.