MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says he typically keeps the Minneapolis Police Department as apolitical as possible but on Wednesday he felt he must speak his mind regarding Ballot Question 2, which will be put to voters next week.
“As your chief of police I would not be in favor of this ballot amendment,” Arradondo said at a press conference, speaking about the initiative, which, if passed, would replace the police department with a new department of public safety.
The chief calls it troubling that he has not seen a plan for how many officers will be needed, or if they will be included in a new potential department. He says no elected official has asked his opinion or spoke to him about the ballot amendment.
“I was not expecting some sort of robust, detailed word-for-word plan, but at this point, quite frankly, I would take a drawing on a napkin and I have not seen either,” Arradondo said.
The chief believes the city is at a critical point of public safety and to drastically change the city charter with so many unknowns is not good for Minneapolis’ 420,000 residents.
“As chief, here is what I can tell you that Ballot Question No. 2 will not do for you: it will not eliminate tragic incidents between police and community from ever occurring in our city, it will not reduce the disproportionate violent crime, disparities involving African American victims that has been a public health crisis in our city for decades, it will not suddenly change the culture of a police department that has been in existence for 150 years,” Arradondo said.
Either way, he says, if the ballot measure does pass, Arradondo expects Minneapolis police to continue to work hard to protect the community.
“I believe they will adhere to that oath and that service,” he said.
The chief says he has not discussed with his family his future with the police department or the possibility of him serving with a Department of Public Safety if the ballot measure passes.
If the Ballot Question 2 initiative results in the attrition of more Minneapolis police officers, Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said his office will provide public safety services in Minneapolis.
“We will continue to provide assistance as our staffing and resources allow,” Hutchinson said.