A surge of crime has prompted officials in Minneapolis to explore the possibility of bolstering the city’s shrinking police force with officers from outside departments, according to local media.
Under the new plan, which could go into effect on Nov. 15th, cops from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police would be brought in to help deal with violent crimes as part of Joint Enforcement Teams with city officers.
“We’re not gonna be having these people out taking bicycle theft reports. These are going to be people out combating crime issues,” Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder told the Star Tribune.
The move comes months after the Minneapolis City Council announced plans to “dismantle” the police department in the wake of ‘George Floyd’ riots that rocked the city in May.
“We’re barely able to cover the shifts that we have,” said Council Member Linea Palmisano. “We really can’t allocate additional police officers for on-duty shifts.”
Mayor Jacob Frey also supports the proposed policing arrangement, which would initially last through the end of the year, but could be continued into 2021.
The city has experienced a historic surge of violence and crime during 2020, with shootings, carjackings, and homicides all on the rise.
Meanwhile, “an abnormally large number of officer departures following Floyd’s death and the subsequent unrest has strained the department’s resources,” the Star Tribune reports.
Minneapolis residents recently filed a lawsuit against the city alleging police patrols have fallen below required minimums.
Petitioners who signed on to the suit believe the high volume of resignations and leaves of absence taken by officers in recent months has shrunk the force to inadequate size.
In August, Minneapolis police advised residents they should “be prepared” to surrender to criminals and “do as they say” if confronted.
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