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Minneapolis seeks community input on location for new Third Precinct station

In April, the city will seek input on whether to rebuild the Third Precinct at the former site or on a nearby vacant lot.

MINNEAPOLIS — Three days after George Floyd's murder, Minneapolis' Third Precinct police station burned during protests. Rachel Boeke, executive director of Longfellow Community Council, says not much has changed with the building or property since then.

"To know that we're on the path where the fencing could come down, the barbed wire can come down … that's all we've wanted," Boeke said.

Wednesday, the city of Minneapolis announced a new opportunity for the community to share its input regarding where Third Precinct police should be stationed, as officers serving the Thrd Precinct have been stationed downtown for nearly three years now.

The two locations under consideration are the former Third Precinct site at East Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue, or a vacant lot on Minnehaha Avenue and East 26th Street. The two locations are less than a mile apart.

"We need a Third Precinct building in the geographic area that is the Third Precinct," Mayor Jacob Frey told KARE 11. "The reason is, people need service. Police need the ability to organize themselves out of a particular building that is in community. They need to be on the ground developing out relationships with the community themselves."

The city has hired DeYoung Consulting Services to facilitate four community conversation sessions in April about the two proposed locations. An online survey will also open next week.

Interim Deputy City Coordinator of Community Engagement Fatima Moore says the process aims to build trust.

"We really want to be as targeted and intentional with our engagement as possible," Moore said. "To be frank, this will be the first time that the City has gone out to the community since the murder of George Floyd and since the building burned down." 

Boeke says the Longfellow Community Council conducted a smaller survey in May last year and says 75 percent of respondents did not want police to be located where they were before. Reasons included, "MPD going back into that building would be a slap in the face."

For the 25 percent of respondents in favor of rebuilding at the former site, reasons included, "It is a useable building and the most cost-effective choice is to rebuild."

Moving forward, if the larger Third Precinct community favors the vacant lot, there would be a separate process for what becomes of the site that was burned.

Upcoming community conversation sessions:

• Tuesday, April 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge. Business owners are encouraged to attend.

• Thursday, April 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Midtown Global Market.

• Saturday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Roosevelt High School.

• Wednesday, April 19. Time and location are to be determined. 

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