MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis City Council could barely hear Mayor Jacob Frey’s budget proposal Thursday over the heckling of protestors.

Andrea Jenkins, city council vice president, had to recess the meeting in an effort to calm down protesters. The protestors were asking for police accountability in officer-involved shootings and became upset when the mayor proposed the hiring of additional police officers.

Speaking loudly over the shouts of protestors, Mayor Frey attempted to lay out his financial proposal for the city of Minneapolis in 2020. One of his priorities: the safety of the city.

“Population up, sworn officers stagnate. That’s not a sustainable metric. There is no time to waste,” Frey said.

Mayor Frey says he supports Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and his quest for better police-community relations. After a violent summer downtown, including several shootings, Arradondo told the council earlier this month an additional 400 officers would be needed to help respond to 911 calls.

Mayor Frey is asking the council for 14 additional officers – three in traffic, three in investigations and eight beat cops.

“We need safety beyond policing, but we still need police,” Frey said.

Though protestors chanted constantly during his budget proposal, Frey pushed on with his proposal to include all important dollars into affordable housing.

“This year, we are also injecting another $31 million of city money into our affordable housing budget,” Frey said.

Mayor Frey says a focus on economic inclusion will put a priority in helping communities of color become economically and socially independent.

“Cultural districts represent an intentional strategy where people of color who have made and continue to make our city remarkable can reap the benefits of development of investment of improvement of their communities while staying in place,” Frey said.

Chief Arradondo still wants to see more officers. The Minneapolis Police Federation says 14 officers is a start, but a very slow start.

As for property taxes, the mayor is proposing an increase of 6.95% to the levy.

Reg Chapman

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