The city of Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota was like many cities across the United States who wanted to appease the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.
The BLM movement flooded the streets throughout the country, demanding that police departments be defunded or replaced entirely with a brand-new system, in order to protect black lives.
However, this decision has now started to backfire in Minneapolis, with citizens practically begging the city council to bolster the funds available to the local police department as the crime rate soars throughout the city.
So, defunding the police doesn’t work after all?
The department stated this week that they only had 638 officers available to work, after numerous complaints from citizens claiming slow response times from the department as the crime rate continues to increase throughout the city.
The number of officers available is roughly 200 less than usual after a mass number of officers resigned or went on medical leave in the aftermath of the George Floyd incident and the rise of BLM.
On Friday, the city council voted unanimously to increase the budget for the department by $6.4 million, on the request of the police so they can hire more officers, increase response times and decrease the overall crime rate.
The department has now predicted, with the addition of these new funds alongside their own recruitment classes, they can have 674 officers working throughout the city by year’s end, with an additional 28 potential officers going through the hiring and training process.
Local communities starter working on their own solution
The city has also made promises to update the current application process for new recruits, where questions based around their residency in the city, education, and volunteering for police activities will be poised to them, in an attempt to prevent further, high profile incidents from occurring between officers and citizens.
However, other members of the city council have begun petitioning for an idea that would replace the current police department in Minneapolis with a new, ‘Department of Public Safety’.
Another group made up of local communities, known as the ‘Yes 4 Minneapolis’ group is also attempting to get a similar idea onto the next election ballot.
This idea would see the new ‘Department of Public Safety’ replace the police department by name, but would still hire law enforcement officers as well as providing other public services.
These ‘licensed peace officers’ would be able to fulfill the responsibilities of the department only when deemed absolutely necessary.