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Minneapolis City Council approves funds to contract outside help for MPD

Officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department and Metro Transit will help Minneapolis police deal with rising crime.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council has approved funding to bring in outside law enforcement to help the Minneapolis Police Department in the face of public safety concerns.

The council voted Friday morning to authorize a $496,800 contract with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department and Metro Transit to provide law enforcement personnel help to MPD from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, 2020.

Mayor Jacob Frey proposed the contract, saying that MPD has seen a "significant reduction" in staff that is "resulting in difficulty in meeting the public safety needs of the City." He referenced recent increased crime trends that "have aggravated the situation."

RELATED: Group organizes Minneapolis residents with public safety concerns

Under the contract, officers from Hennepin County and Metro Transit would be hired to fill a daily 12-person mid-watch 10-hour shift to answer 911 calls and "address crime." These deputies and officers would be under the direction and command of the MPD and Chief Medaria Arradondo.

RELATED: Minneapolis police ask for more manpower to patrol city streets

"Minneapolis, like local governments across this country, is grappling with competing crises – combating a global pandemic, weathering an economic downturn, and pursuing racial justice," Frey said in a statement Friday. "And at the same time, neighborhoods across our city have endured an intolerable level of gun violence and crime."

Frey said he brought the request to the council in order to support Arradondo's work.

"Today we sent a clear signal that we will support Chief Arradondo and that we are ready to work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners and neighboring jurisdictions while continuing to implement concrete, transformative public safety measures," Frey said.