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The city of Minneapolis will be spending $6.4 million to hire dozens of new police officers, CTV News reports. The city council approved the measure unanimously.
The Minneapolis Police Department faced calls for defunding beginning late last spring after the killing of George Floyd, with some activists and city council members calling for it to be abolished entirely and replaced with a form of community policing. The measure never went through due to pushback from the mayor, however, with the city's charter prohibiting its abolition or defunding without support of the mayor or a public vote.
Nevertheless, in the wake of the backlash, roughly 200 police officers, nearly a quarter of the force, left their jobs. The department now says it only has 638 officers available to police the city.
Now residents have been begging for the city to bring on more police as the city experiences skyrocketing crime. The first three weeks of 2021 saw a 250 percent increase in the number of shooting victims compared to 2020. Instances of rape are up 22 percent while robbery is reportedly up 59 percent since 2020.
Three city council members are still pushing to replace MPD with a public safety department. The proposal is also being pushed by a Minneapolis-based group Yes 4 Minneapolis, which receives funding from George Soros's Open Society Foundation.
The Department of Public Safety would include licensed police officers who would perform much of the duties currently performed by MPD.