Once again, the city council of Minneapolis City is attempting to dismantle the city’s police force. They are seeking to do it this time by voting on a plan to replace the city’s police department with a “public safety department” that would respond to emergency calls using a “comprehensive public health approach.”
The council of Minneapolis City was blocked, last year, from abolishing the police services by the charter commission of the city, which pointed out that the city’s municipal charter makes it a requirement to have a law enforcement division. Now sporting this knowledge, the “Yes 4 Minneapolis Committee” is pushing for a measure that would allow voters an option to amend the charter of the city in order to move towards a “public safety” department.
“The Minneapolis Policy and Government Oversight Committee, which is comprised of all 13 Minneapolis City Council members, approved the measure proposed by the advocacy group Yes 4 Minneapolis Committee in an 11-2 vote that will now be passed along to the general council for a vote,” as reported by Fox News, that is citing a local source. “If the City Council votes in favor of the amendment, it would appear on the general election ballot for Minneapolis residents on Nov. 2.”
As reported by Fox 9 Minneapolis, a measure that, if approved, “would give the voters power to replace the city police department” and “call for public safety to have a ‘comprehensive public health approach’ but does not explain what that means.”
“Under the plan, the police department would be replaced in the charter with a public safety department but doesn’t outline how the department will work or be structured,” stated the local outlet.
The measure simply stated, “Shall the Charter be amended to create a Department of Public Safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach with a range of strategies and personnel, including licensed peace officers as necessary, to fulfill responsibilities for community safety, with the general nature of the amendments being briefly indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?”
The Yes 4 Minneapolis Committee whined about the vote as part of a tweet, claiming that the “people of Minneapolis” had “spoken,” and had turned down the city’s charter commission, though the petition concerning the charter only received 20,000 signatures, which is only roughly 5% of the cities population.
“Today’s vote confirms what we’ve known all along: The people of Minneapolis are excited and ready to participate in their democracy to keep themselves and one another safe,” tweeted out the Yes 4 Minneapolis Committee, “and that a handful of unelected people continue attempts to derail these efforts.”