Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo looks to increase officer numbers

- Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo is trying to find ways to better deploy officers, as a number are set to leave the force in the coming years.

Arradondo presented the department’s proposed budget to City Council members on Tuesday. He is requesting one new full-time officer position, while the department still plans to run cadet and recruit classes.

MPD officials project the force will lose 38 officers due to attrition by the end of this year, and another 50 next year. Many of those are due to retirements. The department is projected to have 878 officers on the force by the end of 2018, down from a projected 892 at the end of this year.

Some council members questioned Arradondo on plans for staffing, in the wake of complaints about increasing response times.

“I appreciate the administration saying we can work with what we have, I love that. I think that’s great,” said Lisa Goodman, Council Member for Ward 7. “But I have seen the difference these beat cops have made…and I just want more of that. And I think the public does too.”

“I think we can continue to hire, and continue to build up our 911 sworn strength,” Arradando said. “I also think we do things still smarter.”

Arradondo also said the department is still on track to have 901 sworn officers by 2022, which would be the highest number since the early 2000s.

The proposed budget also includes funding for added civilian staff to handle administrative functions, and community liaisons to deal with social issues like opioid addition and homelessness. The aim is to ease the workload on sworn personnel so they can focus more on fighting crime.

The finalized budget will be voted on by the City Council in December.

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