The Minneapolis City Council has approved the reinvestment of $1.2 million into a new department for Third Precinct police. The investment will be pledged annually for the next three years.
The council decided in their Policy & Government Oversight Committee meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The decision to reinvest millions in a three-year lease for precinct is opposite to the council’s recent precedent. Earlier this summer, City Council President Lisa Bender (Ward 10) promised to “dismantle policing” in favor of a “new model of public safety.” The related charter proposal only lost traction earlier this month after the Charter Commission opted to delay their vote.
Background analysis on the matter omitted the fact that rioters burned down the Third Precinct building three days after George Floyd’s death. Their analysis only reported on the officers’ current operations locations: remotely, or in the Minneapolis Convention Center basement.
Prior to the meeting, Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll blamed the city’s leadership for officer shortages and worsening crime rates. Kroll also mentioned there was no word about establishing a new department for the Third Precinct.
“They haven’t found a building to put it in. That’s another thing – we don’t know what they’re going to do with that precinct, and it’s been how long now? The officers are working in the basement of the convention center, in horrible working conditions,” he said. Again, failed leadership.”
Council member Cam Gordon (Ward 2) dismissed Kroll’s criticisms, questioning whether the union leader had “the most accurate or up-to-date information, or in-depth understanding” of the city’s problems. Police data published in the same council meeting recorded nearly double the number of gunshot victims and homicides compared to last year, and a four year high of aggravated assaults.
The council is scheduled to finalize the decision next Friday. If fully approved, the Third Precinct will move into their new building in October.
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