University of Minnesota to reinstate relationship with Minneapolis PD

The University of Minnesota is reinstating its relationship with Minneapolis Police, two years after limiting its ties to the department.

The University greatly scaled back its relationship with MPD in the days following George Floyd’s murder, with University President Joan Gabel saying the school had a responsibility to uphold its values and make immediate changes.

Wednesday, the University announced it would begin a phased approach to re-instating the relationship.

"The reason we’re reinstating is because MPD has made great progress in the last couple of years," said Gabel.

While Gabel says they never stopped collaborating when it came to criminal investigations, the move will put officers back inside the stadium at Gopher football games, for example, as they welcome MPD back to large events on campus. In addition, they’ll begin partnering with the department for special services.

"I’m really happy. I just hope they mean it. I hope its not just words," said incoming Senior Mary Hernandez. "I am a woman of color and I want them around. They are there to protect me and I understand that."

The University says it has been working to improve safety on campus, with a plan to increase the University of Minnesota Police force from 55 officers to 71. In addition, they are looking to fill ten open positions for unarmed public safety officers.

Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander said while the city’s police force is already stretched thin, they will make it possible to assist on campus.

"MPD is not going to take its foot off the gas," said Alexander.