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Minneapolis to streamline police data requests

To help process data requests, five employees from the MPD's Records and Information Unit are being moved to work in the city clerk's office.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's Note: The above video originally aired on Feb. 17, 2022.

Minneapolis is taking steps to restructure its process for fulfilling police data requests in order to make public data more easily accessible.

According to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's office, all police and city business data requests will now be initially processed by a team from the Office of the City Clerk. Previously, police data requests were handled by the Minneapolis Police Department's Records and Information Unit (RIU).

At the request of Mayor Frey and City Council Vice President Linea Palmisano, five full-time employees from the MPD's RIU will be moved to the city clerk's officer to handle the requests.

“Accessibility and responsiveness are the city's top priorities when it comes to managing public data,” Frey said in a statement. “Amid increased interest and higher demand, this move marks the beginning of our shared longer-term work to streamline and centralize important local government services... we applaud our internal staff team for their commitment to making this transition a priority.”

There is currently a backlog of records requests with the department, and many data requests take several months to complete.

In 2020, a policy change had city clerk employees reviewing and redacting police data, but all other aspects of managing data requests fell on the MPD, according to Frey's office.

The process for requesting public data will remain the same, and the mayor's office anticipates the procedure change will be finalized later this year.

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