UPDATED 8:34 PM PT – Friday, December 4, 2020
The Minneapolis City Council is pushing for a new approach to public safety at the detriment of the police department budget.
During a public meeting Thursday, council members proposed a plan that includes cutting the police budget by nearly $6 million with the biggest reduction coming from the department’s overtime fund.
Despite fierce backlash from residents, city council member Lisa Bender claimed the proposal was what residents wanted and indicated she as well as her colleagues were not interested in further debate.
“We didn’t take the approach of bringing forward something that we didn’t think people would support to then negotiate it back,” Bender stated. “We brought forward a good faith compromise proposal that incorporates the feedback that we have heard from many.”
The Safety for All Proposal is based on years of work by city staff, using recommendations from the “911/MPD work group” and the Office of Violence prevention, both initiated in 2018 by the City Council. pic.twitter.com/Z2KI7NAu5L
— Lisa Bender (@lisabendermpls) December 4, 2020
Violent crime has spiked dramatically in Minneapolis with crimes like carjackings up more than 500 percent in November compared to the same time last year.
The city council didn’t reach an agreement regarding a public safety program and will continue debate on next year’s budget Friday.