“The Minneapolis City Council passed a budget early Thursday that moves about $8 million from the Police Department to other services — but preserves its plan to hire more officers in future years,” according to the Star Tribune.
“The late change to the department’s staffing projections, passed along a narrow 7-6 vote, does not change the number of officers who will work in 2021. The move, instead, avoided a political showdown with Mayor Jacob Frey…
“‘My colleagues were right to leave the targeted staffing level unchanged from 888 and continue moving forward with our shared priorities,’ Frey said. ‘The additional funding for new public safety solutions will also allow the City to continue upscaling important mental health, non-police response, and social service components in our emergency response system.’
“The 2021 budget served as the latest venue for debates on changing the police department after George Floyd’s death and a subsequent pledge by a majority of council members to end the department. As the talks unfolded, city leaders deliberated whether they should leave the department mostly intact while building out new services, or cut the department to fund them.
“While the city is seeking to change its public safety system, it is also experiencing a crime wave that includes more than 500 shootings…
“The council cut an additional $7.7 million from the police department. That money will fund mental health crisis teams, train dispatchers to assess mental health calls and have other employees handle theft and property damage reports.”
For more, go to the Star Tribune.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section on this page. Does it concern you that Minneapolis and other cities across the nation are reducing the budgets of police departments at a time when those cities are seeing increases in violent crime? Or, do you think it’s a good idea to shift some police funds to social services?