The Minneapolis City Council has multiple members who have been pushing the proposals to defund the police. While their previous efforts were not successful, they have decided to issue a new proposal. These three members have a plan entitled “Safety 4 All” and they hope to slice $8 million from the Minneapolis Police Department budget next year.
The city has seen a wide range of officers step down from their posts, whether by retirement or resignation. The plan that these Council members have put together aims to cap the total number of police, keeping the city from being able to hire any replacement officers. Mayor Frey is not a fan of this plan at the moment.
“The mayor would have significant concerns if his council colleagues attempted to make such large, permanent cuts without sound data or community input to support such a decision,” says a spokesperson who is familiar with his thinking. Minneapolis City Council Member Phillipe Cunningham and colleagues Lisa Bender and Steve Fletcher are responsible for co-writing the budget plan.
Some may be saying that these types of budget cuts are going to become a sad reality during the pandemic. However, this $8 million cut is not being proposed because of the pandemic. Mayor Frey has already included a budget cut of $12 million to account for these concerns. The $8 million cut proposed by the Council members would be added to this.
Frey originally anticipated keeping 770 officers on the payroll because of all retirements and resignations. The long term goal was to keep 888 officers, though. The City Council is looking to keep that number around 750. “In doing so, we save up to tens of millions of dollars over the next five years,” says Cunningham.
Sure, it would be nice to save money but how is that going to work when the city is in the midst of a crime wave? The Police Chief of this city is already tapped out and begging for additional resources to help get the city back under control. A $500,000 expenditure was already approved to help bring in outside officers to assist for the remainder of the year but this is not enough.
No sane city should be locking in lower amounts of officers over the long haul when their crime is trending in the wrong direction. The “Safety Now Minneapolis” campaign aims to offer a counterpoint to all of the liberal nonsense. Bill Rodriguez, a member of this community group, believes that this is the wrong approach to be taken at a moment like this.
“They’re throwing this out there at the eleventh hour,” Rodriguez says. “I think it’s done more as an appeasement, to a certain segment of the community that has been saying defund, defund, defund … and so they’re saying, ‘we know, we’ll put this together and we’ll throw it out there now, even though we know it’s not ready for primetime.”
The good news for those who side with Rodriguez and the mayor is that the Council does not have enough members to make this fantasy into a reality. They would need at least four additional members to get on board. They also have a plan to replace the entirety of the police force but no one is banking on that happening, either.
KARE 11 has the local report on this matter and this gives you a better idea of how people are feeling than the usual social media posting. If we had to guess, we would expect this plan to die on the vine but who knows? 2020 has been a crazy year and lots of people are looking to showcase their woke points.
In the meantime, residents of this city are forced to wait and hope for the best. They are being told not to worry by the mayor, who seems to have a fairly strong handle on the issue. If they are lucky, he won’t drop the ball on this one as so many mayors have.