MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People living in southwest Minneapolis are expressing concerns about safety in their neighborhood.

It comes after social media reports about a reduction in officer staffing in the 5th police precinct.

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WCCO has confirmed the reports that sometimes the entire precinct is staffed by only eight police officers. But MPD is working to move resources around to parts of the city that need it most.

Twenty neighborhoods make up the 5th precinct and according to reports from that precinct inspector, their bare minimum staffing can be as low as eight officers a shift.

Marni Pulford knows firsthand how important it is to have a police presence. She was attacked on her way to work during the afternoon.

“One guy jumped out, grabbed my backpack I was wearing – just a backpack purse – and pulled me to the ground really quick and then started kicking me and punching me in the head,” said Pulford.

“Within 15 minutes of my call, I know the police officer, once they arrived had probably four or five other calls within like a five block radius,” Pulford said.

Uptown business owner Steve Taylor says police reform is needed but so are officers on the beat.

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“We need better public service not less public service,” he said. “If you want a better police force you have to invest in that.”

Taylor does not believe city leaders are hearing the cries of people who live in areas where crime is a problem and police staffing is a serious issue.

“We’re just running the police we do have ragged at this point and they need their rest. We need some kind of help from somewhere,” Taylor said.

Minneapolis Police is doing what it can when serious incidents happen.

“Look at our resources, look at our demands, and again focus on our core,” said Deputy Chief Erick Fors.

Fors says staffing numbers are down because of retirements, personal separation and medical leave. MPD is working hard to regain the community’s trust and be there when they’re needed most.

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“Trust is built one call at a time one interaction at a time we need to maintain those partnerships, “Fors said.

Reg Chapman