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After vowing to defund, dismantle Minneapolis police dept., city low on officers amid crime surge

The police department is hoping to get extra funding and officer reinforcement.

Updated: November 13, 2020 - 12:52pm

The Minneapolis Police Department has requested nearly $500,000 to help with the city's crime surge amid a shortage of officers.

After the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody that sparked weeks of riots, the Minneapolis City Council chose to solve the issue of police violence by cutting $1 million from the department 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 also prepared to undergo a proposed budget cut of about $12 million.

“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."

For now, the city is considering a Joint Enforcement Team, which would pull in officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police to temporarily assist the Minnesota Police Department with violent crimes. The extra hands would cost the city about $496,800. 

The council members are expected to vote Friday on the reinforcement plan, which is expected to pass.

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