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Minneapolis Q&A explains to MPD staff what will happen should voters pass public safety ballot question

A spokesperson for the city told KARE 11 that city officials sent the letter to MPD staff out of obligation as an employer.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The video above first aired Oct. 12, 2021.

With one week to go until a big vote on the future of the Minneapolis Police Department, the city is reaching out to its officers.

KARE 11 obtained a letter sent to MPD staff by the interim city coordinator and the chief human resources officer, explaining what will happen if the public safety ballot question passed.

A spokesperson for the city told KARE 11 that city officials sent the letter to MPD staff out of obligation as an employer.

"As an employer, the City is obligated to ensure it’s supporting all of its employees, recognizing that these ballot questions can cause uncertainty for staff, particularly in MPD," the city spokesperson said.

Read the full letter below.

Q & A on Public Safety Ballot Question

1. Will all of the police department employees be out of a job on November 3? No. Current labor agreements will continue to be in place.

2. Will we have to reapply for our jobs if a new department is created? No. Current labor agreements and City benefits will continue to be in place.

3. Will there be police officers in the new department? Yes. State law requires that certain duties be performed only by licensed peace officers.

4. What happens to the chain of command? Who is in charge? Immediately following the election, the current chain of command will remain in place. If passed, the new Charter language would be effective 30 days following the election, or on December 3, 2021.

5. When will the City Council decide what the new department will look like? Creation of a new department will take time. The primary action that must be accomplished by the effective date is the appointment of an interim commissioner to lead the new Department of Public Safety; the commissioner is correspondingly vested with the performance of all law enforcement services currently provided through MPD. This step ensures command and continuity of service. The new Council and Mayor would then be responsible for finalizing the ultimate form and functions of the new department through several policy decisions in 2022 and beyond.

6. Will we still be working under the terms set out in the contract if the amendment passes? Approval of Question 2 does not alter the terms in the labor contracts.

7. What happens after 30 days? If Question 2 is passed, the City will continue to have licensed peace officers providing law enforcement services. There will be a longer-term process led by the City Council that will result in ordinance changes and that process will ultimately create a new structure for a public safety department.

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