MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Images of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct, surrounded and taken over by rioters, was seen around the world last June.
The building was destroyed during the unrest, days after George Floyd died while in police custody on Memorial Day. Third Precinct resident Rebecca Ditsch says the destruction has had an undeniable impact on the community.READ MORE: Minnesotans Look To The Sky
“When an institution, especially one as fraught as that, burns down or is destroyed, there’s a lot of emotion and feelings around that police precinct,” Ditsch said.
Officers moved to a temporary location — the Minneapolis Convention Center. And now, its officers have moved again to what’s known as the City of Lakes Building, a recently-vacated space about a block from City Hall in downtown.
Deputy Chief of Patrol Erick Fors admits it’s still not ideal, and says the goal is to be in the community the Third Precinct serves.
“This is a place for us to essentially get back to as full a function of operations as we can, and knowing that we need to have a facility, this was a city-owned facility,” Fors said. “It’s been challenging for the personnel and the leadership there to maintain that connection with the community while they’ve been operating out of temporary locations.”READ MORE: Fallen Minnesota Officers Honored With NFTs: 'It's Like A Digital Tombstone'
Unlike at the convention center, the public will have access to this new location. Herb Crowell, who lives in the Third Precinct, says he’d like something more permanent, with closer access.
“The crimes have becomes more and more violent, and the criminals and the people doing the crimes have become more brazen, so yes, it is top of mind for a lot of people over here,” Crowell said.
Ditsch agrees, but realizes things take time.
“This is such a charged circumstance, they really need to find a right place, an appropriate place,” Ditsch said. “I’m not surprised that it’s taking so long.”
The city is working toward having the precinct open to the public beginning Feb. 1.MORE NEWS: Soaking Up The Sun, Safely: How To Best Protect Your Skin, And Spot Skin Cancer