Minneapolis eyeing outside police to help with violent crime, officer shortage: report

Unrest in the city this year has reportedly strained the department's resources

Officials in Minneapolis are considering bringing in police from other jurisdictions as the city faces a shortage of officers and a wave of violent crime, according to a report on Monday.

Officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police would form Joint Enforcement Teams and primarily respond to violent 911 calls, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. 

If the initial proposal is approved by the City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey this week, the teams would form on Sunday and run through the end of the year.

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Police arrested protesters who marched with fireworks to Uptown in Minneapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. They were cornered at Painter Park by the police. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

Police arrested protesters who marched with fireworks to Uptown in Minneapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. They were cornered at Painter Park by the police. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

“We’re not gonna be having these people out taking bicycle theft reports. These are going to be people out combating crime issues,” said John Elder, a spokesman for Minneapolis police.

The proposal comes as an unusually large number of officers in Minneapolis have left the force following the death of George Floyd in the city on May 25, according to the paper. 

Floyd died after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, which ignited a wave of protests and riots throughout the country this year.

After his death, the left-leaning City Council members pushed to disband the Minneapolis police department, as activists in other cities aimed to defund the police.

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The unrest, in addition to the departures, has strained the department's resources, and some officers have filed PTSD claims, according to the Star Tribune.

The city has also seen a wave of violent crime, with 74 homicides recorded this year.

The proposal to bring in outside officers will come before the council’s Policy & Government Oversight Committee on Tuesday, the paper reported. If it passes, a final vote will likely be held on Friday before it goes to Frey for approval.

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The mayor supports the plan, according to his office. It's estimated to cost just under $497,000.