Brooklyn Center City Council approves budget bringing policing changes

The City of Brooklyn Center voted Monday to approve its budget, bringing funding for a series of policing changes in the wake of the shooting death of Daunte Wright.

The plan approved by council members was first presented by City Manager Dr. Reggie Edwards at a council meeting on Dec. 2

Under this plan, the "Office of Prevention, Safety and Health" will be funded with $725,000 worth of "secured" grants along with money gained by "freezing" three positions within the police department. 

The plan approved by city council Monday is a scaled-back version of what Mayor Mike Elliott proposed last month

The plan funds the new safety department with $1.3 million in 2022. Under Mayor Elliott’s plan, presented to city council last month, the program would have been funded with $1.8 million, using $1.2 million taken from the police department in the form of cutting 14 officer positions. 

The city council rejected the mayor’s plan and approved the city manager’s version Monday night. 

Under the approved plan, money will be used to fund: an implementation committee, pilot programs for civilian traffic response and mental health 911 calls and a "Community Transformational Change Innovation Process."

According documents presented to the council, "freezing," or not actively working to fill, three police department positions will provide around $303,000 in funding. An increased lodging tax will generate around $52,000.

The amended plan also drew skeptics from some members of the public, including Katie Wright, the mother of Daunte Wright, who threatened to have her son's name removed from the resolution--saying the city was failing to fully fund the new effort.