Mayor Frey: 100 Minneapolis police officers expected to leave department by year's end

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he expects the number of officers leaving the Minneapolis Police Department will reach 100 by the end of 2020.

Frey says those 100 positions will be included in the city's hiring freeze. 

Frey made the comments while laying out broad themes on his slimmed-down 2021 budget proposal Friday morning.

Dozens of Minneapolis police officers have already left the department after George Floyd's death and riots. At least 150 officers began seeking duty disability for post-traumatic stress following the unrest.

Frey says he will look for ways to divert Minneapolis Police staff to other city agencies. That includes a proposal to move some MPD staff to 311 to handle theft calls.

"This is a change we all have been targeting for awhile. It's time we get it done," he said.

As part of the offset, Frey is looking to add $2.5 million in new ongoing funding to the Office of Violence Prevention. He proposes neighborhood teams be staffed at peak hours overnight and positioned to intervene in critical moments after a shooting and help prevent retaliations. 

“Those teams of 15-20 community outreach workers will be led, full-time by five new city staff in our Office of Violence Prevention,” said Frey. “With those numbers, we’ll have coverage in targeted areas throughout Minneapolis.”

Other proposals within the budget include reorganizing city departments and reducing the overall workforce through a targeted voluntary retirement incentive program instead of layoffs.

Through various changes and in part because the city’s tax base is expected to grow by more than 12 percent, Mayor Frey aims to limit the property tax levy increase to 5.75 percent. For the owner of a home worth about $280,000, it shakes out to a $47 property tax decrease. 

“With the world watching, let’s define a shared framework for progress and honor George Floyd by making real and enduring change,” said Frey.
Overall, this budget proposal, including $1.1 billion in spending and $1.4 billion in revenue is expected to change a lot between now and December. The mayor notes the effort to secure state and federal support will be constant.