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What happens to Minneapolis policing partnerships if voters replace MPD?

Currently, contracts lasting until 2024 ensure at least 15 sheriff's departments and police departments have the ability to operate within Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS — This election, the future of the Minneapolis Police Department could be changed forever.

If Minneapolis voters approve ballot question 2, MPD would be removed from the city's charter and be merged with a new Department of Public Safety. If this happens, the Minneapolis city council has until Dec. 3 to start the restructuring.

But there are bigger implications to this vote that would affect departments beyond MPD:

What happens to all of the mutual aid agreements between MPD and other law enforcement agencies around the state?

Right now, MPD has contracts with 15 other departments:

  • Belle Plaine PD
  • Columbia Heights PD
  • Cook County Sheriff
  • Fridley PD
  • Mcleod Co Sheriff
  • New Hope PD
  • Owatonna
  • Pine County Sheriff
  • Rochester PD
  • Wright Co Sheriff
  • West Central SWAT
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Henn Co Chiefs of Police
  • Ramsey Co
  • St Paul

This list, provided by MPD, shows some departments locked into a contract of mutual aid until spring of 2024, a move made the month before the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. 

City Council President Lisa Bender doesn't think much will change.

"I don’t see any reason that the contracts themselves would change... yes, for the time being. I don’t think anyone in the city would prefer that as a permanent solution," Bender said.

This means officers and deputies from around the state, as long as they are in the contract, can still come into Minneapolis when requested for assistance. We saw this last summer during the protests following the killing of George Floyd.

Those involved in law enforcement have doubts those contracts will last.

"I think the local departments will do the right thing and provide assistance and not leave the residents hanging out there when they need police help... but it isn't going to be something they're looking to do," said former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. "They're strapped for resources to protect their own communities.

Stanek told KARE 11 he believes the contracts will need to be renegotiated since they were made under Chief Arradondo. 

"All of those agreements could be null and void and would have to be renegotiated, resigned and maybe have a different perspective about how they go about doing their business," Stanek said. 

Minister JaNaé Bates, the Communications Director for Yes 4 Minneapolis, a committee supportive of the ballot measure, said merging MPD into a Department of Public Safety, could be good for maintaining a consistent plan for different law enforcement agencies to follow.

"Changing this charter makes it possible to have truly wide oversight and not have it lay in a black box conversation behind closed doors with the mayor," said Bates. "If people see police officers, what actually should happen, is that the people of Minneapolis should have a good relationship with police officers."

Officials with the city of Minneapolis told KARE 11 they can't discuss contract negotiations until there are results from the election.

But no matter what happens, it's safe to say there will be no immediate overhaul come Nov. 3.

"There isn't going to be any sudden overnight shift that people in Minneapolis don't know about ahead of time," Bender said. 

WATCH: Minneapolis ballot question 2: What's the plan?

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