MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A community policing team that formed in Minneapolis almost 20 years ago called local leaders Tuesday to restore safety in the city. They’re fueled by the Minneapolis City Council’s decision to defund the Minneapolis Police Department, effectively cutting two key programs.
The meeting happened at a church in the Kingfield neighborhood. The discussion was heated, and the team actually filed a complaint three weeks ago against the city council, for taking money from the police department without community input.
The city council has not yet responded to that complaint.
The team blames the budget cut for effectively ending a cadet program that gets more people of color serving in law enforcement. Also ended was the city’s navigator program, which Chief Medaria Arradondo established two years ago to address issues like homelessness, joblessness, substance abuse, and domestic abuse.
One of the main ideas behind the defund the police movement is that trained professionals should be addressing deeply rooted issues within the city. This team agrees that more help is needed, but they believe that those professionals should work alongside the police — not instead of them.
“As a pastor, I learned that on day one,” said Pastor Ian Bethel, who was at Tuesday’s meeting in south Minneapolis. “I don’t show up for no domestic stuff, I call the police and let the police go along with me.”
It used to be that these community policing meetings would happen in a formal setting with the mayor and the police chief. While the practice stopped some time ago, the formal meetings are slated to return next week, starting Monday.
Source: CBS Minnesota