MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Minneapolis will spend $6.4 million to hire dozens of police officers, even as some City Council members and activist groups are advocating to replace the police department following George Floyd’s death.
The council voted unanimously on Friday to approve the additional funding, which was requested by police.READ MORE: Mpls. Mayor, Police Chief Say Police Recruitment Push Will Focus On Social Service Experience, City Residency
The department says it only has 638 officers available to work, roughly 200 fewer than usual. An unprecedented number of officers quit or took extended medical leave after Floyd’s death and the unrest that followed.
The Star Tribune reports that the city hopes to have 674 officers by the end of the year.READ MORE: MPD Chief Arradondo: City Down 200 Officers From Staffing Level Two Years Ago
However, a grassroots push to replace the Minneapolis Police Department continues. Yes 4 Minneapolis is a Black-led, coalition of community organizations. On Saturday, they launched the “Vote Yes for Minneapolis” campaign.
They’re collecting signatures at Moon Palace Books in support of replacing the city’s police department.
Organizers say their vision is a new Department of Public Safety, one centered in public health approaches to safety. They want the issue to be up to voters to decide.
The petition also call on city officials make long term investments in the programs organizers say keep residents safe.
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