Minneapolis Park Board set to vote on cutting ties with MPD; changing park police uniforms

Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota have made similar decisions.
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The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board is set to vote Wednesday evening on cutting ties with the Minneapolis Police Department, as well as changing the uniforms its park police wear. 

The resolution directs Superintendent Alfred Bangoura to stop using Minneapolis police to staff park events and block its Park Police officers from responding to MPD calls.

Another resolution calls for a redesign of park officers uniforms "in a way that distinguishes" them from MPD uniforms. 

The resolution asks Bangoura to hold a "redesign process" and have recommendations ready for the board by Oct. 1. 

If the board votes yes, it would be the latest major organization to cut ties with MPD. University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced May 27 she would no longer allow MPD officers to assist campus police for large events or specialized services, like explosive detection, though MPD will still participate in joint patrols and investigations.

Tuesday, Minneapolis Public Schools announced it would remove its MPD school resource officers.

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The Walker Art Center has also announced that it will stop contracting MPD officers for events "until MPD implements meaningful change by demilitarizing its training programs, holding officers accountable for the use of excessive force, and treating communities of color with dignity and respect." 

The board is also voting on a resolution asking the state Legislature to repeal the Stanek Law, which since 1999 has prevented municipalities from requiring its police officers to live in the cities they work. Data shows that 92 percent of Minneapolis police officers live outside the city. 

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