Minneapolis residents concerned about high levels of crime are frustrated and unsatisfied with Gov. Tim Walz’s response to a letter they sent to him.
In September, 26 residents of north Minneapolis signed a letter that asked the governor to use state police or the National Guard to assist the Minneapolis Police Department in fighting a persistent crime epidemic.
The letter described north Minneapolis as a “war zone” and blasted Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council for failing to properly address it, hence the appeal to Gov. Walz.
“They are either unwilling or unable to save us,” the letter reads. “The Minneapolis Police Department is spread too thin to help. Right now, we are left to fend for ourselves. We are not ‘One Minnesota’ when our children are left to be slaughtered.”
In response to that letter, Gov. Walz’s office claimed, according to KSTP, that “the State Patrol and Minnesota National Guard are not a substitute for a qualified local police department.”
“Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor [Peggy] Flanagan are committed to ensuring that every Minnesotan lives in a safe and supportive community,” the response says. “The challenges the City of Minneapolis faces in public safety are troubling and a manifestation of a nationwide rise in violent crime during the pandemic.”
Gov. Walz’s response entrenched the letter writers in their belief that neither he nor any elected officials will do anything substantive to address the problem.
“Nothing in this letter commits to sending additional resources to Minneapolis to aid us,” concerned resident Tyler Balbuena told KSTP. “To me it seems the governor is telling us we are still on our own.”
Balbuena added that many of his neighbors have decided to “pursue carry permits” because Gov. Walz and Minneapolis officials are actively failing to “provide for public safety.”
“I expect that trend to continue the longer we are left to fend for ourselves. I can’t imagine this level of homicide and violent crime would be allowed to continue anywhere else in the state,” he said.
The Minneapolis Police Department has been woefully understaffed for well over a year, with an exodus of officers retiring or going on leave in the wake of the historically destructive George Floyd riots last summer. There are approximately 598 active police officers in a city that has an authorized force of 888, Chief Medaria Arradondo told the city council this week.