MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is making changes within the Minneapolis Police Department he hopes will ensure better response time to 911 calls and investigations.
The changes are in direct response to requests from residents for help during a recent surge in gun violence.
WCCO’s Reg Chapman sat down with Mayor Frey to get some insight into what the changes will look like.
“They cycle of violence is something we take very seriously and we’re not messing around,” Frey said.
Mayor Frey says a lack of police resources, because of attrition and illness, has forced MPD to take a look at its staffing and make some tough decisions on re-allocating divisions within the department.
“Right now the whole goal is to be proactive instead of reactive,” Frey said.
In order to do that, Mayor Frey in conjunction with Chief Arradondo found ways to put more boots on the ground.
“What we realized more and more is that having this necessary 911 response, the investigations and working directly with some of our group violence initiatives those are more than critical right now it was a hard decision but it was a necessary one,” Frey said.
That means officers that worked in schools and with community engagement teams will now respond to 911 calls.
Frey says the community work they were doing is important, but making sure 911 calls are answered efficiently and effectively is crucial.
“We’ve made sure to gain additional efficiency by combining certain units together like the gang interdiction units and the safe streets unit all to come together under a gun violence response team,” Frey said.
This puts more resources on the street for investigations.
Mayor Frey believes these changes combined with new violence intervention initiatives will help quell this surge of violence across the city.
“I’m a believer that we need safety beyond policing we also need police it’s that symbiotic relationship between community leaders and law enforcement that inevitably helps to ensure safety within our city and you need both,” Frey said.
Frey did not support city council efforts to dismantle or end the police department, but he is working on new initiatives to tackle public safety with more than just police.