MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A community policing team called the Police Community Relations Council, which formed in Minneapolis almost 20 years ago, called local leaders Tuesday to restore safety in the city. They’re fueled by the Minneapolis City Council’s decision to defund the Minneapolis Police Department.

The meeting happened at New Beginnings Baptist Tabernacle in the Kingfield neighborhood, led by Pastor Ian Bethel. The discussion was heated as PCRC representatives explained the complaint filed in August against the city council, for taking money from the police department without community input.

The city council has not yet responded to that complaint.

The team blames the $2 million budget cut for effectively ending a recruit program that gets more people of color serving in law enforcement. It also cut 25 community service officers, a co-responder program and $1.1 million from the Office of Violence prevention, according to MPD.

One of the main ideas behind the defund the police movement is that trained professionals should be addressing deeply rooted issues within the city. This team agrees that more help is needed, but they believe that those professionals should work alongside the police — not instead of them.

“As a pastor, I learned that on day one,” said Pastor Bethel. “I don’t show up for no domestic stuff, I call the police and let the police go along with me.”

PCRC meetings used to happen in a formal setting with the mayor and the police chief. The formal meetings are slated to return next week, starting Monday.

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Christiane Cordero

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