The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota is now giving their police department $6.4 million to recruit new police officers.
Last year, the department started off with 817 officers and are currently down to 638 with 155 officers on extended leave. Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo have made plans to alter the hiring process. Changes to the hiring process include asking the applicant if they have ever earned a degree in psychology, criminology, counseling, or social work, and whether they’ve ever lived in the city. The changes will hopefully “help us to really feel confident that we are recruiting the kinds of candidates we want right from the beginning,” said Deputy Police Chief Amelia Huffman.
After the death of George Floyd last spring in Minneapolis, the nation saw months of civil unrest leading to $2 billion in property damages and over 700 police officers injured. The Minneapolis police cited 200 fewer officers available for duty in their request for the extra money. City council unanimously agreed to release the funds eight days after the request. Many officers left the department or took extended medical leave citing PTSD following the unrest that followed Floyd’s death. Many Minneapolis residents have been wanting more police officers as they’re reporting longer wait times for emergency calls. Other residents of the city still want the department dismantled as they claim the police department has yet to effectively reduce the crime rate.
Three city council members have already proposed replacing the police department with a public safety department that would include law enforcement and other services. “Yes 4 Minneapolis”, a coalition of local community groups, is currently signing a petition for a similar proposal. The petition is aiming to reach 20,000 signatures by March 31st. The petition would remove police department language from the city’s charter and create a public health-focused Department of Public Safety.
ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE HILL