Minneapolis City Council approves extra police funding amid crime surge, after defunding department

The city council had said they would defund and dismantle the police department over the summer.

The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to approve an additional $496,800 for the city’s police department to help with the recent crime surge, which has grown after the city took away nearly $1 million over the summer during the “defund the police” wave.

After the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody sparked weeks of riots, the City Council cutting police funding and reallocate it to “violence interpreters” through the health department. The council also voted to dismantle the department and replace it with a community-based public-safety system.

Several months later, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has said violent crime is up more than 20% compared to last year and 40% compared to two years ago. The police department is prepared to undergo a proposed budget cut of about $12 million and many officers are retiring or leaving the city’s department.

“Our resources are hemorrhaging,” Arradondo said to members of the city council during a committee meeting Tuesday. “Our city is bleeding at this moment. I’m trying to do all I can to stop that bleeding and I’m hoping that having the funds to launch a citywide joint enforcement team initiative we can try to stop the bleeding in our city.”

The Friday vote passed 7-6 vote, which will allow for a Joint Enforcement Team pulling in officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police to temporarily assist the Minnesota Police Department with violent crimes through the end of the year. The extra hands will cost the city about $496,800. full story

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