The Public Safety & Emergency Management Committee of the Minneapolis City Council at its next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 17 will receive and file an overview of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) staffing, which will include the impact of staffing on precinct operations.
Just this week it was reported that the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department would be putting more deputies on the street after a recent spate of murders and shootings in downtown Minneapolis.
Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson said deputies will join forces with the MPD and Metro Transit officers in a show of force in downtown during hours violence typically happens. The sheriff said they will be adding ten deputies between the hours of 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, according to the report.
The department currently has staffing of 888 sworn officers and MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo has expressed a desire to raise that number to 1,000 according to another recent report. But that request has come with pushback from activists calling for divestment of funds from the MPD, as well as pushback from some council members.
Ward 3 council member Steve Fletcher said he envisions a “smaller” police department in the future and that he would need to know that an increase in police staffing would result in achieving the “public safety and racial equity goals of the city,” the report said. Ward 3 includes areas of northeast Minneapolis as well as violence prone areas of downtown Minneapolis like the North Loop area.
The Minneapolis City Council late last year voted to trim the MPD 2019 budget by more than $1 million and divert that money to community-based initiatives to reduce violence. The diverted money will in part fund the city’s new Office of Violence Prevention which has a projected annual budget of $457,000. While Sasha Cotton was recently named as the new director for the office, the city has not posted any specific goals or objectives for the office which will be housed under the city’s Health Department.
The Public Safety Committee meeting will take place at City Hall in room 317 at 10 a.m., a portion of the meeting may be closed to the public pursuant to statute. However, the public may submit comments in writing to email@example.com. The MPD staffing overview will be referred to the Minneapolis City Council at its next meeting on July 25.
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