MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis business leaders are stepping up to provide $5 million in private funds to help transform public safety. The business group aims to support new programs designed to transforming public safety.

The new Minneapolis Community Safety Innovation Fund hopes to advance some of the ides of the Minneapolis City Council without cutting police.

A group of business and nonprofit leaders stood next to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to announce their financial support. The fund was created to achieve the both-and approach, which relies on public safety at its core as well as reform.

“This new $5 million fund will create community driven health and innovative social services that support public safety in the city of Minneapolis,” Jonathan Weingarten said.

The fund will be managed by the Minneapolis Foundation, though the details have not been made public.

“What this city needs at this point and time is unity. We all need to be rally around a common message, and that common message right now is both-and,” Frey said.

Frey’s budget proposes $179 million for MPD plus additional funding for violence prevention and housing programs.

Three Minneapolis City Council members are proposing to cut $8 million from MPD’s budget to fund violence prevention and mental health crisis teams and alternative response to some calls MPD currently handles.

“We can do both. We can still maintain public safety and still deal with the effects of what transformational change looks like, and holding folks accountable who do not live up to that. But we cant sacrifice the lives of our residents by listening to one core constituency,” Arradondo said.

These leaders expressed their concern over the uptick in crime and say now is the time to act to protect lives and property.

“We want better policing. We want enough police, because we are down significantly. It is absurd right now to jeopardize our lives and keep traumatizing the city of Minneapolis,” Sondra Samuel, with Northside Achievement Zone, said.

A city these leaders say needs everyone working together, including the Minneapolis City Council, to bring about change.

“Council members, give this chief, give this city the kind of budget it needs to put cops on the ground and in our communities,” Rev. Ian Bethel said.

This fund will be managed by the Minneapolis Foundation. It does not require approval from Minneapolis City Council members.

Reg Chapman