Mpls data requests restructure announced by Frey, council member

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Friday a change to the way police and city data requests are handled that will aim to improve efficiency, responsiveness and transparency.

Throughout the deaths of George Floyd, Amir Locke and more that have occurred at the hands of Minneapolis police, a central theme has always risen from activists in the aftermath – a demand for increased transparency and accountability. 

A new effort led by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and city council member Lisa Palmisano will change how police record requests are processed. 

Previously police data requests – including public police and accident reports, statistics, personnel data, video, case files and more – have been handled exclusively by the Minneapolis Police Department’s Records and Information Unit (RIU). 

Effective immediately, all data requests will now be initially processed by a team from the Office of the City Clerk, which will includes the five full-time RIU empoyees - expanding the scope of who can handle them. Although the change is immediate, it will require a fill council vote as a budget item in order to become permanent. 

"The goal is to improve efficiency, responsiveness and ultimately transparency," said Frey on Friday. "This gives us the ability to centralize the work… And hopefully allows us to reduce some of the significant backlog we’ve seen… This is one less thing that our Minneapolis Police Department will have to account for on a day-to-day basis."

According to Frey the MPD receives more data requests than all other police departments combined - roughly 150 per day.