City council approves $500K for Minneapolis police to contract more officers

In another narrow vote, the Minneapolis City Council approved the proposal that will give the Minneapolis Police Department about $500,000 to make contracts with other agencies to increase the amount of officers on the streets through the end of the year.

Friday, the council voted 7-6 to allow the MPD to form contracts with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Metro Transit. This mirrors the same one-vote margin of approval seen earlier this week during the Policy and Government Oversight Committee meeting. That meeting saw was intense debate over whether to give the department more funding on top of its annual $184 million budget. MPD Chief Medaria Arrandondo made his plea for the proposal, pointing to the increase of violent crime and homicides this year.

In a statement activist group, Reclaim the Block expressed frustration over the funding approval because members of the council had pledged their commitment to re-imagining the police department following the death of George Floyd.

"Today’s vote shows us exactly the kind of strength we need when we show up to the 2021 budget process next week,” said Sheila Nezhad of Reclaim the Block in a statement. “We know that the police will be advocating for their paychecks and power, so we need to remind City Council that they are accountable to the community, not the cops.”  

Mayor Jacob Frey, who was in favor of the funding, applauded the vote.

“Today we sent a clear signal that we will support Chief Arradondo and that we are ready to work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners and neighboring jurisdictions while continuing to implement concrete, transformative public safety measures,” said Frey in a statement.

The contract runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31.