Mayor Frey reaffirms commitment to Minneapolis police staffing following judge's order

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed staffing issues within the Minneapolis Police Department Friday, one day after a Hennepin County District Court judge ordered the city to hire more officers.

According to an order filed Thursday, the mayor and the city council are ordered "immediately take any and all necessary action to ensure they fund a police force," meaning the city must employ 730 sworn officers by June 30 of next year. Current projections show Minneapolis will only have 669 sworn officers as of June 1, 2022.

While Frey did not address the judge’s order directly, he said the "significant attrition" the city has seen over the last year "has been very problematic."

Frey said the city intends to bring additional recruiting classes to offset the loss of sworn officers on the force.

"This is a both/and approach," Frey said. "We need community-oriented strategies that go beyond policing and you need officers as well. It is our intention to make sure that we are pushing for allocations both through [the American Rescue Plan] as well as through the ongoing budget to make sure we are bringing the necessary personnel into the Minneapolis Police Department."

Frey said he supports Police Chief Medaria Arradondo "entirely."

"Part of assisting [the chief] in getting the right outcomes means that we need to give him the necessary tools that he needs to succeed," he said.

Frey reiterated that he has "always opposed" efforts to defund or dismantle the police department.

The judge’s order was in response to a lawsuit filed by residents of Minneapolis’ Hawthorne and Jordan neighborhoods demanding enough active-duty police officers to patrol the city’s streets. The City Attorney’s Office is reviewing the decisions.