MINNEAPOLIS — Community stakeholders and Minneapolis Police and City officials are coming together this morning to hold the first public meeting of the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC) since George Floyd's murder. They're hoping community members, including youth, will have an active seat at the table to discuss accountability and transparency among both police and the people they serve.
PCRC was developed in 2003 and met for several years before ceasing in 2008. After George Floyd's murder, the Unity Community Mediation Team, led by Pastor Ian D. Bethel, met weekly for two years to get PCRC off the ground again. They worked on developing and fine tuning what's now become a 30-page memorandum of agreement, which outlines how community and police can work towards better relations.
"We're doing this for the broader community," Pastor Bethel said. "Everyone in this community is now welcome to come and help us to implement this. We must have police...Now, we welcome everyone to our table.:
While forming the document, PCRC made a concerted effort to bring in the voices of youth, members of the LGBTQ community, as well as the Somali population.
Beginning Thursday at 10 a.m., meeting will be held monthly at New Beginnings Baptist Tabernacle (4301 First Avenue South) in Minneapolis. Community members are invited to weigh in on topics such as use of force, mental health issues, cultural awareness, racially biased policing, and diversifying the workforce.
In order to diversify the workforce, the Unity Community Mediation Team has agreed to help Minneapolis Police with recruitment efforts, at a time when numbers are down.
"It's a fantastic group of people who can really reach deeply into the community," Interim Chief Amelia Huffman said. "That's going to help us to get those recruitment messages out to folks in the community we might not be reaching with our traditional recruiting and marketing efforts, but who might have a passion for really serving the City, creating a better, safer, more peaceful city."