MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than 100 city of Minneapolis employees are expected to leave their positions by the end of the month.

Thirty-four are from the Minneapolis Police Department. In order to balance the budget, the city offered early retirement incentives to some employees.

Six-hundred-and-eighteen city employees were eligible for the early retirement program, put in place to “address financial shortfalls by reducing salary costs,” minimizing the need for additional layoffs.

According to city officials, 122 — or nearly 20% — filled out paperwork, with intent to take the option by Tuesday’s deadline. That includes 34 sworn and civilian Minneapolis police employees.

The police department has had dozens leave the department since the death of George Floyd in late May, with dozens more on medical leave.

Minneapolis City Hall (credit: CBS)

The city is trying to partner with, and pay, outside agencies to help fill the gap. After canceling a recruit class in August, there are now plans to move forward.

A spokesperson for the mayor said, “Mayor [Jacob] Frey has been working with Chief [Medaria] Arradondo to accelerate recruitment efforts, including with additional funding for a new recruit class in the 2021 budget. The city’s projections for police department staffing levels for the year ahead took anticipated retirements into account, and he looks forward to working with police cadets and officers to effect a culture shift and rise to meet crucial public safety challenges.”

Eligibility was mainly based on age plus years of service. The incentive: $30,000. That includes a cash payment of $20,000, and $10,000 goes into a health savings plan.

Employees who took the early retirement will work no later than Jan. 29. They do have 15 days from the time they turned in their paperwork to rescind, so numbers could change.

Some public works employees have until April 9 to make a decision, and would retire by the end of that month.

Jennifer Mayerle