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Minneapolis budget committee votes to move $5.7 million from police to 'Safety For All' plan

However, Mayor Jacob Frey is threating a veto after the committee also approved an amendment to reduce MPD staffing.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council's budget committee voted 11-2 Monday to amend Mayor Jacob Frey's 2021 budget proposal to redirect nearly $5.7 million from the police department's budget under a proposed "Safety for All" plan.

The proposed budget changes still requires approval by the full city council.

Under the proposal, the shift in funding would go toward: 

  • A violence prevention fund and additional staffing
  • Training dispatchers to assess mental health calls and to dispatch mental health professionals to applicable calls.
  • Train non-police staff to handle property damage and theft reports
  • Move parking problem calls to the 311 and traffic control systems
  • Add additional staff to the Office of Police Conduct Review in the city's Civil Rights Department

RELATED: Council members propose more cuts to Minneapolis Police, and long-term reduction in officers

The amended budget calls for the majority of the redirected funding ($5 million) to come from reducing overtime expenses from MPD. However, committee members separately approved an additional amendment that would set aside $5 million into a Public Safety Staffing Reserve, from which the police chief could request funding to cover overtime costs.

In addition, the committee narrowly approved an additional budget amendment on a 7-6 vote, which would reduce the size of the MPD force to 750 employees starting in 2022. Mayor Frey's original budget proposal called for 888 employees on MPD's staff.

Frey released a statement, blasting the proposed force reduction.

“Pre-emptively reducing the sworn capacity by 138 officers prior to having alternative responses in place or completing the mutually-agreed upon staffing study is irresponsible,' Frey said. "We’ve given the Council every opportunity to join us in a both-and approach that gives Chief Arradondo the flexibility he needs to move forward and ability to scale up new safety solutions. Last week, we joined private, faith, and community leaders to launch a new, $5 million initiative that would better integrate mental health and social services into our emergency response system."

Frey said he may veto the budget if the officer reduction remains in the final version.

“We continue to stand ready to collaborate and support the safety beyond policing initiatives, but I am actively considering a veto due to the massive, permanent cut to officer capacity," Frey said.

RELATED: Minneapolis Mayor, Police Chief propose sustaining police budget, adding alternative first responders

The text of the budget amendments can be found in this document on the city council's website (starting with Motion 14-A.1).

The full council will vote on the final version of the city budget at its meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 9, following a public hearing.  

RELATED: Minneapolis Police funding is key as council nears budget vote

Frey released the following statement.

“Pre-emptively reducing the sworn capacity by 138 officers prior to having alternative responses in place or completing the mutually-agreed upon staffing study is irresponsible. We’ve given the Council every opportunity to join us in a both-and approach that gives Chief Arradondo the flexibility he needs to move forward and ability to scale up new safety solutions. Last week, we joined private, faith, and community leaders to launch a new, $5 million initiative that would better integrate mental health and social services into our emergency response system.

“We continue to stand ready to collaborate and support the safety beyond policing initiatives, but I am actively considering a veto due to the massive, permanent cut to officer capacity.”