Minneapolis councilmembers propose budget that would move nearly $8 million from police to alternatives

The Minneapolis police logo on a squad vehicle. (FOX 9)

A budget proposal released Friday by a trio of Minneapolis councilmembers would move nearly $8 million of funding from the police department to what the members are calling "transformative" safety investments.

Councilmembers Phillipe Cunningham and Steve Fletcher, and Minneapolis Council President Lisa Bender unveiled their "Safety for All" budget plan on Friday.

The trio says the plan is the result of years of work towards public safety reform, including efforts from the Office of Violence Prevention and 911/MPD Workgroup.

Under their proposal, $7.9 million would be moved from Mayor Frey's proposed police budget for 2021 to alternatives, like training dispatchers to better handle mental crisis calls. Some of the funds would be used for violence prevention and the rest of the money will support community-led police accountability.

The new budget proposal comes after efforts earlier in the year from councilmembers for a larger overhaul of the police department that has yet to come to fruition.

Under the councilmembers' proposal, Minneapolis police staffing would also change to a level of 770 sworn officers -- compared to the 888 officer target under Mayor Frey's proposal -- with plans to drop that to 750 in years to come.

In reaction to the proposal, a spokesperson for Mayor Frey's office said: "Mayor Frey has laid the groundwork in his budget proposal for new, alternative responses to low-level offenses like theft reports and parking problems. However, the mayor would have significant concerns if his council colleagues attempted to make such large, permanent cuts to the number of officers in the department without sound data or community input to support such a decision."