Businesses, philanthropic organizations announce $5M fund to support policing alternatives in Minneapolis

Businesses and philanthropic organizations announced the formation of a $5 million fund to support efforts to support alternative response systems to improve community public safety in Minneapolis. 

The newly created Minneapolis Community Safety Innovation Fund will “help develop a comprehensive plan for integrating health and social services with policing, with the goal of moving the city to a more just, equitable and effective public safety model,” according to a news release from the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. 

The group announced the fund at a news conference Thursday morning, saying it was created “in response to community calls for action.” 

Many in and out of city hall are looking for alternatives to traditional policing in Minneapolis. The creation of the Minneapolis Community Safety Innovation Fund comes as the city’s budget committee is set to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss the police department’s budget for next year. 

Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo have proposed a $179 million budget for the police department in 2021, which would maintain the same level of 888 officers as authorized in 2020. 

The budget committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. The full city council is scheduled to vote on the mayor’s budget next Wednesday.