The Minneapolis Police Department was in the eye of the social and political storm this summer, and the fallout has begun to hit home.
With resignations within the department and city police resources running thin, the Minneapolis City Council authorized nearly $500,000 in funding to hire cops from other forces.
The vote was 7-6 in favor approving $496,800.
The lightning-rod phrase “Defund the Police” saw its momentum snowball after Minneapolis police officers were arrested in the killing of George Floyd. Many people wanted the department abolished, while others sought to bring aboard more officers amid a wave of violent crime and a staffing shortage.
Crime rates and homicides are up this year in the city, as 500 people have been wounded by gunfire and more than 70 have been killed. Millions of dollars in damage was done by rioting, and an actual precinct of the police department was burned to the ground.
It’s easy to understand that by early this week, about 40 police officers had left the department in 2020, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and another 121 were on some form of leave.
Last month, an attorney told the Associated Press he had helped process about 175 disability leave claims on the force since Floyd’s death.
The Council-approved police resources include a plan to bring in up to 40 officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department and Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit Police.
The new cops would help with joint enforcement teams dealing with 911 calls and hot spots for violence.
Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said that hours worked and pay rate are among the issues left to be sorted.
“We have to have some sort of agreement. There’s so much stuff to happen before we can commit,” he said. “But, again, I’m open to helping anybody within the county, any agency that needs help.”