MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis City Council will decide Friday whether to bring in officers from other agencies to help keep the city safe.
The proposal is for $500,000 to go toward patrols from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Metro Transit Police Department.
The latest statistics show a jump this year in certain crimes when compared to the same point last year. Homicides are up 87%, arsons are up 76%, and there are increases in robberies, assaults and burglaries.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told the city council Tuesday that his department needs more resources.
“I’m talking about what is necessary today in this city,” Arradondo said.
Some Minneapolis residents feel it’s a no-brainer, including Bill Rodriguez with the citizens group Operation Safety Now.
“Just get more feet on the street, that’s what you need. Studies show the best deterrents to crime is uniformed law enforcement on the streets,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what the average citizen wants to see.”
Steve Taylor, a landlord who lives in the city, feels the council has dragged its feet over the years in both reforming police and addressing rising crime.
“None of these guys have a better idea,” Taylor said. “They just want to not do anything, [they] live in a fantasyland.”
Council Member Phillipe Cunningham tweeted Thursday night why he’s against the proposal for outside help, writing that Minneapolis “won’t be safer by relying on a broken criminal justice system that got us in this crisis in the 1st place by breaking up families & destroying futures. More of business as usual won’t create different results. When you’re in a hole, the solution is not to keep digging.”
Other council members have pushed back by bringing up the budget, asking what another $500,000 will do if $185 million won’t cut it.
Arradondo says 90% of the budget goes to salaries and benefits.
The department says it has 486 officers right now to patrol the streets.