During the year between the summers of 2018-2019, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) was unable to immediately respond to 6,776 priority one calls.
A priority one call can involve a shooting, rape, or domestic assault in progress according John Elder, a spokesperson with the Minneapolis Police Department, per KARE 11. The city government says its “objective is to have a squad en route to a priority 1 event within 70 seconds of receipt by the dispatcher.”
The data about the 6,776 priority one calls that were not immediately answered has been public for some time. However, a MPD spokesperson recently commented to Fox News, suggesting that the lack of immediate responses is due to a lack of police officers.
The spokesperson also told Fox News’s Matt Finn that the department has asked for additional officers to decrease response times— meanwhile the Minneapolis City Council is trying to abolish the police entirely. (RELATED: The Minneapolis City Council ‘Took The First Step’ Towards Potentially Disbanding Police Department)
“It is true that we have asked for additional officers,” the spokesperson said. “Without additional resources, response times will suffer.”
It also appears that in the midst and aftermath of riots instigated by the death of George Floyd at the hands of MPD, some Minneapolis residents are totally unable to get any help from the police at all. Several individuals from inside the metro area who wish to remain anonymous have told Alpha News that their calls for help regarding fears for their safety and the destruction of property at the hands of rioters have gone unanswered.
About one year ago when the data about MPD’s inability to respond to priority one calls first broke, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey bemoaned the statistic.
“One 911 call that goes without a response that’s a priority one, that’s unacceptable… Thousands, that’s unconscionable,” he said, according to Fox 9. “We need to do something about it, and I don’t think sitting on our hands is an option,” the mayor added.
At that time he also noted that the City Council would likely oppose efforts to add more officers to the force, even in the face of glaring statistics— an assessment that seems to have been vindicated in recent days.
The MPD currently has about 850 officers, but resignations have begun rolling in as cops say they’re not getting the support or resources they need to safely police a city that seems to hate them. Seven MPD officers have resigned for this reason since the rioting began in their city, per the Star Tribune.
According to the Charter, § 7.3, “the City Council must fund a police force of at least 0.0017 employees per resident, and provide for those employees’ compensation.” This means that the Council is required to fund at least 720 police department staff.