Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey requested the funds for 14 additional law enforcement officers in his 2020 budget, even though Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said his department needs 400 new officers by 2025.
Frey announced the request during his Thursday budget address to the Minneapolis City Council, which was repeatedly interrupted by anti-police protesters. At one point, City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins had to call a recess in an effort to quiet the protesters. Several portions of his speech were difficult to hear over the shouts of protesters, who at one point chanted the name of Jamar Clark, who was shot by Minneapolis police. The chant lasted for more than two minutes while Frey attempted to finish his address.
“Population up, sworn officers stagnate. That’s not a sustainable metric,” Frey said during his address. “There is no time to waste on false choices and binary options in addressing the causes of crime and violence in our city.”
“We need safety beyond policing, but we still need police,” he added, receiving loud jeers from the audience.
Shouts of “you’re fired” and “resign” were heard coming from the crowd of protesters.
Frey and Arradondo reportedly have a close relationship, but the Minneapolis City Council is hesitant to comply with an increase in sworn officers, The Star Tribune reported.
During a July testimony before the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, Arradondo said his department needed to expand from 888 officers to at least 1,300.
“We have been operating for so long with this mindset that 600 patrol officers is adequate, and I’m here to tell you it is not,” he said. “If we continue with the same broken model, my work of transformational change of the MPD will be at great risk of failing.”
“If the levels stay the same as they are today, the next chief that comes before you will have a very, very difficult time,” he added.
At a rate of 14 new officers per year, as Frey has recommended for 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department would add 84 new officers by 2025, which is 316 officers shy of Arradondo’s request.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo’s “Minneapolis Budget Address” and “Mayor Jacob Frey” by the City of Minneapolis.