By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In St. Paul, the debate over policing turns to a group of citizens. St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced a Community-First Safety Commission on Thursday.

The 48 members cover a broad range of voices from public and private sectors, as well as education and nonprofit groups.

The group will focus on alternatives to police response and approaches for ongoing community involvement. They will also consider whether to create a city-staffed office to drive and integrate the work.

The commission will provide recommendations by May 2021.

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“The broad spectrum of voices on this commission will be invaluable in transforming our emergency response systems for the future,” said Mayor Carter. “I thank the members for committing to this effort and look forward to their recommendations.”

In addition to the 48 members, various city and governmental partners will provide additional support, including representatives from the St. Paul Police Department, Fire Department, and Mayor’s Office. Ramsey County Public Health and Sheriff’s Office will also participate, among other departments.

The project’s budget is $61,650, paid for through the city’s Innovation Fund.