MINNEAPOLIS, MN– Due to recent approved budget cuts of the Minneapolis Police Department, they will be cutting its entire staff of community service officers.
City Council recently approved a revised budget that cut more than $24 million across various departments, including $1.5 million being cut from the police department’s budget. On July 29th, Mayor Jacob Frey signed off on the revised budget.
The Minneapolis Police Department will be cutting its entire staff of community service officers due to recent budget cuts. https://t.co/ht92uZluRi
— TC Crime Watch (@TCCrimeWatch) August 4, 2020
Minneapolis Police Department Spokesman John Elder said that all 25 community service officers (CSO’s), who work hard to assist the department, will be terminated by the end of the month. These paid positions are held by civilians who oftentimes are in school studying law enforcement.
According to Elder, cutting the program was a “difficult decision” for Chief Medaria Arradondo because the CSO position was a tool for extending and increasing diversity within the department. Many CSO’s would become sworn officers following their training.
In addition to the approved revised budget cuts that have forced the police department to disband their community service officer unit, a Minneapolis commission is expected to review a proposed amendment that would dismantle the city’s Police Department and replace it with a new public safety department.
MPD formally graduated Recruit Class 2020-1, adding 29 officers (24 men & 5 women). The group of graduates is nearly 50% diverse. Officers were sworn-in using a new oath, reinforcing intervening against violations of another individual’s rights and upholding the sanctity of life. pic.twitter.com/01DmXOXLA1
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) July 21, 2020
According to CBSN Minnesota, the 15-member volunteer commission could approve the proposal, reject it, propose a substitute, or ask for more time to review it. The City Council is not bound by the commission’s decision.
The proposal would essentially eliminate the Police Department from the city charter and replace it with a “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.” Allegedly, the new department would prioritize public health with a director who has “non-law enforcement experience in community safety services.”
The department would still allow for armed police officers, but they would answer to the new director. Some members of the commission have worried that the process, which has already included two public hearings and online comments, is moving too quickly.
The Minneapolis city council approves its first permanent cuts to the police budget. As a result, crime has surged in the past two months — a tragic example of the negative consequences efforts to defund and disband the police are having. https://t.co/IaypZKstZA
— Todd Young (@ToddYoungIN) July 27, 2020
Their concerns are valid, seeing as how the process unfolded during a violent summer in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd and with shootings dramatically higher than last year, many residents are worried about the proposal to abolish police officers.
Mayor Frey said that he remains opposed to eliminating the police department.
“We should not go down the route of simply abolishing the Police Department. What we need to see within this department and within many departments throughout the country is a full-on culture shift.”
Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo have made some changes since the death of Floyd including requiring officers to document attempts to de-escalate situations whether or not force is used and they have expanded requirements for reporting use-of-force incidents by having officers provide more detail in their reports.
According to MPR News, violent crimes continues to climb to levels not seen in the last several years in Minneapolis. This surge in violence is happening at a time when the number of police officers on the street are declining and members of City Council are supporting a change to the charter that would completely eliminate the police department.
Mayor Frey recently announced that 288 people had been shot and wounded so far this year, which is 121 more people hit by gunfire than the same period last year. In addition, response time data shows that it is taking officers longer to respond to certain 911 calls as the force has shrunk in size.
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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about the violence and budget cuts to the police department in Minneapolis.
We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.
And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together.
We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.
It’s really past due. https://t.co/7WIxUL6W79
— Jeremiah Ellison (@jeremiah4north) June 4, 2020
“Go home,” protesters yell at Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey because he said he doesn’t want to defund the police
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 6, 2020
CAMEROTA: “What if in the middle of the night my home is broken into. Who do I call?”
BENDER: “Yes, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors. And I know — and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege.” pic.twitter.com/WhubQ9yJIf
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) June 8, 2020
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