The Minneapolis mayor and city council are debating a plan to bring in more police officers from the surrounding area to help stem a violent crime surge and a shortage of officers.
The move comes just a few months after the city council voted to ‘defund‘ the police.
In June, the city council voted to approve a measure that could have led to a ballot referendum to remove existing funding requirements.
That measure was ultimately delayed by the city’s charter commission, but the council came back in July to move over $1 million from the police to the health department.
Minneapolis Forced To Bring In More Cops?
Earlier this year, George Floyd died during an arrest in Minneapolis, sparking off Black Lives Matter riots and protests across the country.
The “Defund The Police” movement took off, encouraging cities to stop funding police departments, and spend the money elsewhere.
Minneapolis was ground zero for the movement.
Now, the city is dealing with a violent crime wave, so much so that city officials are considering drafting in officers from other jurisdictions, like Hennepin County and the Metro Transit Police, to help take the pressure off.
“We’re not gonna be having these people out taking bicycle theft reports. These are going to be people out combating crime issues,” said John Elder, a Minneapolis police spokesman.
The officers would form Joint Enforcement Teams, and cost the city around $497,000.
“We’re barely able to cover the shifts that we have,” said Council Member Linea Palmisano, who is backing the extra patrols.
“We really can’t allocate additional police officers for on-duty shifts.”
Crime Problem Plaguing Minneapolis
The crime rates have apparently been rising for months, with no end in sight.
In September, council members expressed dismay at why the crime rates could be spiking now, and demanded to know where the police were in the city’s hour of need.
“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?’”city council member Jamal Osman is quoted as asking.
Osman claimed phone calls to the police were going unanswered.
“That is the only public safety option [constituents] have at the moment. MPD. They rely on MPD,” he said. “And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen.”
In October, as violent crimes such as carjackings, robberies, and murders continued to skyrocket, Minneapolis residents filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that they were violating their city charter by not providing “adequate levels of policing.”
Would Biden Support ‘Defund’ Efforts?
As Vice President Biden was declared the winner of last week’s presidential election, concern is being raised over his links to the hard left within the Democrat Party.
Representative Ilhan Omar, of “the Squad,” suggested that Biden would be “responsive” to the policies of the progressive wing of her party.
“This is our time to get rid of Trump and that we elect someone who’s going to be responsive to the policy positions we are advocating for,” Omar said in September, speaking specifically about economic policy.
Fellow ‘Squad’ member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is on the record with her desire to push the Biden administration further left.
Last week, a spokeswoman for the Biden campaign said that members of the Squad won’t be disappointed by Biden’s “progressive and aggressive” agenda.
For his part, Biden himself has gone on record that he does not support defunding the police, but for some reason he claimed that President Trump does want to do so.
Time will tell if his position on the police “evolves,” as they say in politics.