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Minneapolis mayor reveals his plan for policing changes

Mayor Jacob Frey announced a slate of new policy proposals at an event in north Minneapolis Monday.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a slate of public safety policy changes Monday that he claims will address rising crime in the city and improve community relations.

“Minneapolis residents have rightly demanded changes to how we approach public safety and a plan for stopping the violence our city is experiencing,” Frey said in a statement.

“These proposals are the product of months of difficult conversation, policy analysis, and the urgent need to act. As a community, we are at a turning point and this new Minneapolis model for community safety will help us navigate the critical work ahead."

The proposal includes increasing funding for the Office of Violence Prevention – an expansion of which was proposed by the city council in December in a budget Frey threatened to veto.

Frey's plan would also develop a task force meant to identify “hot spots” of violent crime in order to increase officer and civilian response in those areas.

He has pledged to end low-level traffic stops in which drivers are pulled over solely for minor issues, like expired tabs or a small object hanging in the mirror, and proposes allocating non-emergency calls like theft report-only calls, vandalism, or parking violations to other city departments, rather than MPD.

He also proposed establishing a community safety fund to support community-based violence intervention strategies. At the same time, he also reaffirmed his desire to increase MPD staffing to 888 officers. Last year, the Minneapolis Police Department saw a record number of attritions, with the department down 150 officers as of last November. 

Beyond police reform, Frey proposed pushing to end cash bail in Minneapolis. Cash bail reform has been proposed at the Minnesota Legislature in the past years but has so far failed to become law.

Frey announced the new policies at an event in north Minneapolis alongside Council Members Alondra Cano, Linea Palmisano, Lisa Goodman, Kevin Reich and Jamal Osman. Minneapolis Police Department Chief Medaria Arradondo and various community members were also present.

Absent from the event Monday were two Council Members who represent north Minneapolis, Phillipe Cunningham and Jeremiah Ellison, who have called for more sweeping changes to law enforcement in the city, and who are holding their own press conference in response to the mayor's plans Tuesday.

Their absence at the mayor's press conference didn't go unnoticed by Council President Lisa Bender, who has clashed with Frey over the future of law enforcement in the city.

Cunningham also criticized Monday’s event, calling it a “political rally” and pointing to recent shootings in the area, which have included multiple young victims.

According to the Star Tribune, it's not clear if Frey's proposals can all be done on his own, when they'll get done and if he can get enough support from the City Council. 

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