MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says voting in favor of question 2 – replacing the police department with a public safety department -- is a dangerous move with no real plan on how it will work.
"This is too critical the time to wish and hope for that help that we need so desperately right now," Arradondo said. "And again, I was not expecting some sort of robust, detailed word for word ‘plan.’ But at this point, quite frankly, I would take a drawing on a napkin."
The chief goes on to say this isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. it’s about safety for the city and for the Black community, and that a new public safety department will not right the wrongs that currently exist.
"A black resident in Minneapolis is 480 more times more likely to be shot in this city than to be involved as a victim of an officer-involved shooting. A black resident in this city is 62 times more likely to be shot and killed in this city than to be shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting. This ballot measure does not address that," Arradondo said.
But the chief did say there’s more to consider than just the public safety question, and that’s addressing question number one on the ballot. Essentially, it would change the structure of city government so that both the mayor and 13 city council members would have police oversight. The chief called that "wholly unbearable."
"But I will tell you to have 14 different bosses, that is not a business model we would give to children running a lemonade stand," Arradondo said.
With that, the chief would not answer if he would stay on the job when his term ends in January, he said that is not his focus right now.
"Clearly, our focus has been violent crime. Just yesterday, we had three people shot in south Minneapolis. That is really and truly been my focus," Arradondo said. "And at some point in time when it's appropriate, I will I will make that decision."
The chief also believes that economic development, tourism and entertainment could be impacted if there is no longer a police department.
When asked if anyone who authored the ballot question or an elected official ever asked him to share thoughts on a public safety department, the chief said no, leaving him to wonder if any member off law enforcement was part of the process.