Minneapolis will launch a pilot program next week that would provide an alternative to police responding to calls about parking problems.
According to a Thursday announcement, the City of Minneapolis is exploring the possibility of having the city's Traffic Control department respond to all parking calls, eliminating the Minneapolis Police Department’s role.
Both Traffic Control and MPD currently respond to urgent parking calls.
But starting on Monday, Traffic Control will add an overnight shift to its work Monday through Friday, responding to 911 and 311 calls regarding parking issues. This frees up MPD from the overnight calls, according to the announcement.
The city’s goal with the program is to determine what resources Traffic Control needs to be able to respond to all parking calls, which would "improve service experiences and reduce duplicate services," as well as responding to urgent parking complaints on time, the city said.
“This is a service change aligned with the city’s work around seeking alternatives to police response,” the announcement reads. “The goal is to reduce administrative capacity for police and improve service experiences.”
The city also pointed to other programs that allow residents to report crimes without calling 911 or having MPD respond immediately, including by reporting non-emergency thefts online.