MPD 3rd Precinct site decided by city leaders, community safety center still on table

Following continued indecision on where to create a new 3rd Precinct for the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), city leaders have finally agreed on a location.

A location Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey proposed in late October at 2633 Minnehaha Ave., was approved by a full Minneapolis City Council vote on Thursday, passing 8-5.

The location is estimated to cost $10 million to purchase, plus an additional $4 million to build out – a total cost of $14 million, according to city officials.

"This is an area where we can all agree to agree, and be united," Frey said prior to a vote during the city council meeting. "The goal is provide the comprehensive service we all talk about. We have before us a way to truly do things differently."

Council members seemingly resigned to the inevitable passage of a resolution to approve the acquisition of the site on the council agenda expressed concern over whether or not the new location would include more than a police precinct building for the community.

Council member Jamal Osman, ultimately a yes vote after previously voting against the location, expressed interest in the precinct also having a community safety center component to the location, "on opening day."

A legislative directive requesting a comprehensive overview of how a proposed Community Safety Center could, "contribute to the implementation of the Safe and Thriving Communities service continuum model," was also approved by the city council.

Council member Elliot Payne, a no vote, called for furthered community healing following the trauma police caused to the community, before "building police another fortress," saying, "I need to give pause to reflect on how we have healed from that trauma… The way this real estate deal has come together does not do that."

"It seems like we’re more concerned right now with having some sort of finality to this issue, than with making smart and thoughtful decisions that we’re going to have to live with for decades," council member Chughtai said prior to her no vote. "It’s a shame to simplify healing down to a physical building."

"Opposition is not progress, we have to move forward," council president Andrea Jenkins said Thursday prior to voting to approve the location.

Noting disagreements among his colleagues, council member Andrew Johnson said, "there’s been a lot of hand-wringing over how we got to this point today, but we’re getting a better result because of it."

The city says MPD Officers for the 3rd Precinct have been operating out of a downtown facility in Century Plaza since the former location at 3000 Minnehaha Ave. burned down during protests over George Floyds’s death.

The Minneapolis City Council has previously considered two sites for the home of the new 3rd Precinct: the former precinct site at 3000 Minnehaha Ave. and a vacant city-owned lot at 2600 Minnehaha Ave.