Minneapolis Charter Commission discussion about future of MPD leads to disagreement, new ideas

Discussion grew heated at times as it relates to potential changes to the Minneapolis Police Department during a Charter Commission meeting Wednesday night.

The discussion included some new proposals, too.

Commissioner Gregory Abbott suggested implementing a two-year pilot program for any changes to the department before a public vote to codify the proposal.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Al Giraud-Isaacson proposed another alternative which would keep the Minneapolis Police Department and a separate community safety and violence prevention department, but would cut the number of sworn officers in half.

Still, much of the discussion focused on the changes to the city charter. Councilors still pushed to get the issue on the ballot for voters in November.

For years, city councilors have been fighting for more power with the police department, but currently they are limited to leveraging funding.

Councilor Alondra Cano pointed out that the current funding formula requires, for every Minneapolis resident, the council must fund .007 police officers.

Repeatedly during the meeting, commissioners asked councilors what's the rush? 

While councilors look to gain valuable insight over the next year from the public, the overwhelming feeling from the charter commission seemed to suggest specifics of a plan should come first.

In the end, no decision was made. A public hearing on the topic is scheduled for next Wednesday.