Minneapolis city leaders continue debate over police funding as time ticks down on full budget vote

Created: December 04, 2020 06:06 AM

Friday, Minneapolis city leaders will continue their debate over police funding with time ticking down on the full budget vote.

There are several proposals that would involve taking money from the police budget, but some are more drastic than others.

One of the main focuses at Thursday night's budget meeting was the “Safety for All” plan, proposed by three city council members.

Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo said they are deeply concerned about this plan, with the mayor calling it "irresponsible and untenable.”

The “Safety for All” plan is an 11-part amendment to the mayor's proposed budget.

Minneapolis city councilmembers propose 'Safety for All' budget plan to revamp city's public safety system

It reduces the number of police officers from 770 to 750 after next year. it also cuts nearly $8 million from the department and moves those funds to crisis management and crime prevention programs. That's on top of the $14 million cuts the mayor is calling for in his budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Council President Lisa Bender called the “Safety for All” plan very moderate, while others are still on the fence on the timeline.

"This is the year, in 2021, to make good on our statements, to make good on our plan that we started two years ago officially through the council process, to start exploring moving work out of MPD,” Bender said.

Council member Andrea Jenkins added, “Having worked for 40 years, I know it takes time for people to learn to understand and acclimate to new roles.”

Community groups have also put plans forward.

Some are calling for even deeper cuts to police budgets, while others want city leaders to increase funding or at least keep the police budget the same to address rising crime.

The community will have a final chance to weigh in on Wednesday. Then, the full city council is set to vote on the budget.

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