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Minneapolis to Spend $6.4 Million to Recruit Extra Police Officers | Voice of America

MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis is planning to spend $6.4 million to rent dozens of law enforcement officials, at a time when some Metropolis Council members and activist teams have been advocating to exchange the police division following George Floyd’s dying.

The Metropolis Council voted unanimously Friday to approve the extra funding that police requested. The division says it solely has 638 officers obtainable to work — roughly 200 fewer than traditional. An unprecedented variety of officers give up or went on prolonged medical depart after Floyd’s dying and the unrest that adopted, which included the burning of a police precinct.

With new recruit courses, town anticipates it is going to have 674 officers obtainable on the finish of the yr, with one other 28 within the hiring course of, the Star Tribune newspaper reported.

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died in police custody Might 25 after former police officer Derek Chauvin, who’s white, pressed his knee in opposition to Floyd’s neck whilst he mentioned he could not breathe. Floyd’s dying sparked protests and led to a nationwide looking on race. Chauvin is charged with second-degree homicide and manslaughter and is scheduled for trial March 8. Three different former officers are charged with aiding and abetting, and they’re scheduled for trial in August.

Whereas there have been calls to dismantle the division after Floyd’s dying, some residents have begged town to rent extra officers, citing longer response occasions and a rise in violent crime.

Days earlier than the Metropolis Council vote, Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo promised to replace the appliance course of for police recruits to incorporate questions on whether or not they have lived in Minneapolis, have levels in criminology, social work, psychology or counseling, and whether or not they volunteer or take part in applications such because the Police Actions League.

Deputy Police Chief Amelia Huffman mentioned they hope the change “will assist us to actually really feel assured that we’re recruiting the sorts of candidates we wish proper from the start.”

In the meantime, three Metropolis Council members have proposed changing the police division with a public security division that would come with legislation enforcement and different companies. Sure 4 Minneapolis, a coalition of area people teams, can be accumulating signatures to attempt to get an analogous proposal on the November poll.

The Star Tribune reported the Sure 4 Minneapolis committee is being fueled by a half-million-dollar grant from the Washington, D.C.-based group Open Society Coverage Middle, which is related to billionaire George Soros. Organizers hope to gather 20,000 signatures by March 31.

“We’ve a policing system that does not work for us and we’d like options,” mentioned Rachel Bean, who signed the petition Saturday. “I am a social employee and I really feel like we’ve plenty of instruments that we may attempt to create extra neighborhood security.”

The petition would take away police division language from town’s constitution and create a public health-focused Division of Public Security, “together with licensed peace officers, if crucial, to meet the obligations of the division.”

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