As schools and other organizations cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department following the killing of George Floyd, the Minnesota Twins say it will continue to use off-duty MPD officers during the 2020 season.
In a tweet Friday, the organization said it will screen and hire off-duty MPD officers to assist its security team to keep Target Field safe, as it has done previously.
"The officers selected in the past have consistently demonstrated our organizational principles and values; those selected this year will be held to the same standards," the Twins said. "We have seen firsthand that there are individual officers within the MPD that are committed to creating a policing culture of accountability, respect, empathy and fairness that honors the individual rights of everyone."
The Twins evaluated its safety and security needs following Floyd's death, including their relationship with the police department, which included speaking with MPD Chief Medaria Arrandondo, "whom we support and believe in his integrity, ability and desire to create systemic change," the team said.
The Twins also spoke with others within and outside of the Twins organization before deciding to continue using MPD officers.
As for next year, the Twins will evaluate staffing options for the 2021 season based on "authentic progress toward significant reform within the Minneapolis Police Department and/or community-embraced public safety model."
This comes amid calls for abolishing the MPD or shifting department funding to better support violence prevention and mental health. Some Minneapolis City Council members are in the process of trying to change the City Charter to eliminate the police department requirement so it can build a community safety and violence prevention department in its place.
"We believe in the sincerity of city leaders to create meaningful change that advances racial justice and equality, and encourage those leaders to be unified and tenacious toward that goal," the Twins said.
Comments in response to the tweet ranged from thanking the organization for pausing and considering its options to others saying they're disappointed the Twins will continue to use MPD officers at Target Field.