As you well know, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in late May prompted a nationwide discussion on race and police brutality. And cities under Democratic rule ran as fast as they could to jump on the train to reform. However, for cities like Minneapolis, where it all started, it wasn’t reform so much as all-out defunding and disbanding that was being pushed.
As early as June, city officials had already put forth a measure that would completely do away with the city’s police force as they it, promising that it would be put into action within the next year or so.
However, as you can expect, the likelihood of that actually happening is looking less and less optimistic.
Since June, when the city began preparing for a time when no police would be needed, Minneapolis’s crime rates have skyrocketed on every front. But instead of adding more police to the streets to handle the surging amount of chaos, the department received little to no support from the community or its leaders.
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As a result, hundreds of officers have decided to retire early, resign, or simply move on to somewhere that will respect them for the brave men and women they are. And now the department is so poorly staffed that residents have even banded together to sue the city for the lack of police patrolling their streets.
But what is the city to do? It’s not like they can suddenly abandon their plans to disband the police and start hiring them en masse, right? I mean, could you imagine the Democratic city actually admitting they were wrong?
Nope, neither can I.
However, they know they need help and badly.
So they are asking that the surrounding police forces in Hennepin County and the Metro Transit police to loan them some much-needed officers.
No, I’m not kidding. Rather than abandon their plans or admit defeat, though I’d say this pretty much qualifies as that, they want to borrow officers from elsewhere.
According to the Star Tribune, “Minneapolis officials are considering bringing in officers from other jurisdictions to help the city’s Police Department as they face a wave of violent crime and an officer shortage. If the mayor and City Council approve the plan, officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police would temporarily work with the city, primarily helping to respond to violent 911 calls.”
But what makes this even more astounding is that, as was mentioned by the Star Tribune, the city expects anyone coming in to help out to roll up their sleeves and get right to work, and not on light-duty tasks.
As a spokesman for the Department, John Elder, says, “We’re not gonna be having these people out taking bicycle theft reports. These are going to be people out combating crime issues.”
According to Elder, the temporary officers and MPD officers would form what is known as Joint Enforcement Teams or JETs. He says these have been created temporarily in the past with great success in times of crime surges.
But to bite the bullet, even more, the city will have to pay a substantial fee to get these officers, as well they should.
According to WCCO-TV, the sum is proposed to be somewhere around $500,000. But that only pays for the use of these extra officers until the end of the year, which I might note is a mere seven weeks off. Half a million dollars for a month and a half! Plus, given the city already cut funding for this year, the money to pay this has to come from their contingency fund.
So much for defunding and disbanding, huh?
And according to some councilmembers, they’re going to have to use those extra officers for a while longer.
One such councilmember, Linea Palmisano, says, “We’re barely able to cover the shifts that we have. We really can’t allocate additional police officers for on-duty shifts.” According to the Star Tribune, Palmisano “supports the supplementary patrols” and “hopes they’ll be able to continue them in the 2021 budget, which will be finalized next month.”
At this point, I don’t see the police force of Minneapolis ever being entirely disbanded or defunded.