MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis City Council wants to take part of the city’s police department budget and put it toward other programs.
The majority of its members have also said they want to dismantle MPD altogether.
Business and tourism leaders in the city are working to figure out what a change like that could mean for them.
Melvin Tennant, the president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis — the group tasked with promoting the city — says public safety is a priority for attracting and planning major events.
“MPD officials are typically on those local host committees, so they’re very integral to that part,” he said.
Tennant is waiting for specifics on the city council’s plan, as is most everyone else.
With potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of economic impact on the line, it’s his job to appease event planners who might be inclined to stay away from the city.
“It is easy for us to explain [to event planners] that this is a process, that nothing’s going to happen immediately but the bottom line is we’re all committed to having a safe city,” Tennant said.
Tennant applauds the city council on its swift action, and he says he’ll be advising the members on how any reforms would affect event security.
Some neighborhood business leaders though say policing allows their community to feel safe.
“Unfortunately this was a surprise for everyone,” said Jill Osiecki, the executive director of the Uptown Association. “It’s a bit confusing because we don’t have any details.”
The city charter requires a police force.
Changing that would most likely require a direct vote from Minneapolis residents.
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Source: CBS Minnesota