Minneapolis Council voted to ‘abolish’ police, now asking outside…
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The same city council members that recently voted to “abolish” the entire Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) is now considering bringing in officers from other jurisdictions to help tackle the spike in violent crime and officer shortage.
The Star Tribune reported that if the mayor and city council more forward to approve the plan, then officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police would temporarily work with the city.
These additional officers would primarily help in responding to violent 911 calls.
John Elder, a spokesman for Minneapolis police said that the officers would form Joint Enforcement Teams (JETs), which the city has relied on in the past, particularly to help in areas where violence was spiking.
“We’re not gonna be having these people out taking bicycle theft reports. These are gong to be people combating crime issues.”
Allegedly, the city would then reimburse the Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police for the officers they supply. The total cost is estimated to be somewhere around $497,000, which would be taken out of the city’s “contingency fund.”
The initial proposal calls fro (sic) the teams to form on November 15th, 2020 and run through the end of the year. Council Member Linea Palmisano, who is loud in her support for the supplementary patrols, said that she hopes the teams will be able to continue into the 2021 budget, which is set to be finalized next month.
“We’re barely able to cover the shifts that we have. We really can’t allocate additional police officers for on-duty shifts.”
The proposal is set to go before the council’s Policy & Government Oversight Committee. If it passes there, it will then go to a final council vote before making its way to the mayor for approval. According to the mayor’s office, Mayor Jacob Frey supports the arrangement.
In the wake of the violent riots after the death of George Floyd, Minneapolis police officials have been shuffling personnel around in order to fill the holes after roughly 20 percent of officers have filed for “duty disability.”
According to reports, almost 200 officers have sought “duty disability” in order to leave the police department and went on to cite the reason as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the violent riots. 50 of those officers were present on May 28th when the 3rd precinct was overrun by rioters and burned to the ground.
Attorney Ron Meuser, who handles most disability claims for the Minneapolis Police Federation, said that 75 of those officers were placed under doctors’ order not to return to work as they underwent treatment for symptoms consistent with PTSD. In response to the 3rd precinct burning down, he said:
“They did not feel they were going to come home. Some officers were texting their families’ goodbye and others were saving a bullet in case they needed to take their own life, rather than being beaten to death.”
He said that since the death of George Floyd, officers have felt abandoned by city and state politicians as well as the community at large.
“It’s an emotional beatdown on a daily basis for these guys.”
Meuser said that most of the officers seeking disability have between 16 and 23 years on the police force. In October, a group of residents filed a lawsuit against the city for failing to have enough police officers on the streets to keep their neighborhoods safe.
The lawsuit alleges that the city is operating below the level of officers mandated by the city charter. Based on the latest published census estimates for Minneapolis, the charter requires about 730 police employees. However, the city denied that it has been violating any mandates.
The proposal comes about five months after a majority of council members promised to work toward “abolishing” the MPD following George Floyd’s death. The city has since struggled to combat a wave of violent crime, recording an astonishing 74 homicides so far this year.