MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Once again, eyes across America are on Minneapolis.
Who will be mayor, who will win council, and most consequential, ballot measure number 2: Will the police department remain as is, or will it be reimagined?READ MORE: Crews Knock Down Large Fire In North Minneapolis Home Under Renovation
That’s the question that has the city, and many who work and play there, on edge.
So much has happened since the last Minneapolis city election. A police officer killed George Floyd, and crime is soaring — with 78 murders so far this year.
South Minneapolis resident Julia Eagles is asking her fellow residents to vote yes to ending MPD and creating a new public safety department.
“My experiences with the Minneapolis Police Department, in the last year and a half at least, have been no response at all, like not willing to come into the neighborhood if folks were in a crisis or a real-over response,” Eagles said.
She’s volunteering her time into this election, and her energy.
“I get pretty emotionally invested in elections,” she said.READ MORE: After More Than A Year-And-A-Half, Children's Theatre Company Reopens With 'Annie'
And there may be few elections as emotional as this one is to voters.
North Minneapolis resident EJ is voting to keep MPD.
“Living in north Minneapolis my whole life, seeing the progression and the downfall, and how the whole community has been, and then the safety for my little brother. Knowing I was able to play outside when I was younger and seeing him actually ask me, a 5, 6 year old asking me, ‘What are those big bangs down the street?’” EJ said.
So as passions peak, Shiloh Temple will offer a place of respite. Angela Bennett-Thomas serves there as an elder.
“Honestly, it’s been quite a bit of anxiety,” Bennett-Thomas said. “We’ve just been doing a lot of praying and just trying to ease our anxiety throughout the community and doing what we can.”
Tuesday, the north Minneapolis church will become a free trauma drop-in center, staffed with counselors.
“Whatever you’re feeling, you can walk through our doors and, you know, express your feelings,” she said.
Because as divided as this city is, there’s a universal desire for peace.MORE NEWS: Minneapolis Self-Defense Class Enrollment Increases 15% Due To Surging Crimes, Including Carjackings
If the vote does pass to eliminate the police department, WCCO is told over the next month an interim public safety director will be appointed.