Community safety

The City works to ensure the safety of all members of our community. Learn how you can engage in this work, see official actions that we've taken and find resources.

About the work

Focus areas and principles

Our resolution 

Following the death of George Floyd, the City Council unanimously adopted, and Mayor Frey signed, a resolution in June 2020.

That resolution committed the City to a year-long Transforming Community Safety engagement process of:

  • Gathering community input
  • Conducting research
  • Exploring opportunities to structural change to our public system in Minneapolis

Our goal

The City’s goal is that Minneapolis' public safety system ensures safety for every member of the Minneapolis community. By exploring ways to improve our existing model, we can find opportunities to make it more responsive, more efficient and more effective for everyone.

The Transforming Community Safety engagement process focuses on three main areas:

  • Alternatives to policing/police responses
  • Public health-oriented violence prevention
  • Policy reforms and continuing to shift police culture. 
Alternatives to police responses   Public health-oriented violence prevention   Law enforcement reforms/changes to protocols and practices

Recommendations will be informed by an extensive community engagement process. The process will also incorporate an analysis of existing models, programs, and practices.

Recommendations will focus on, but aren't limited to: 

  • Short-and-long term policy changes 
  • Investments and partnerships that support a public health approach to community safety 
  • Alternatives to policing strategies 
  • Research and engagement to inform reimagining public safety

Community engagement principles 

Community engagement is designed to be open to all community members who wish to participate.

It is guided by three principles:

Accessible: Engagement opportunities that are varied and designed to be accessible and meet people where they are. 

Meaningful: The community feels that the dialogue has been meaningful and relevant, that it informs actions, and that their contributions are reflected in recommendations for systems of community safety. 

Inclusive: Engagement opportunities that reach the full and rich diversity of our City and center the voices of Black people, Native American people, People of Color, immigrants, victims of harm, and others who have been historically marginalized or underserved by our present system. 

Engagement

Take the survey

Minneapolis community, please provide your input on what community safety looks like and tell us your ideas about a new model of community safety for the City.

You can take the survey in any of these languages:

Upcoming engagement opportunities

In early October, City Council unanimously approved the Transforming Community Safety: Engagement Plan Outline and Deliverables. 

The plan outlines opportunities for community members to offer feedback on alternatives to policing and police responses, public health-oriented violence prevention, and law enforcement reforms and/or changes to police protocols and practices.

The process is divided into four parts: 

  1. Phase One (October 2020 through December 2020): a community survey and public forums focused on the current model of community safety and opportunities for changes. A synthesis of initial themes and a draft vision will be presented to City Council in early December 
  2. Phase Two (January 2021 through March 2021): public forums where community members can review and provide feedback on the themes and goals established in Phase One and take a deeper dive into more specific ideas for a new community safety model. This phase will inform draft recommendations 
  3. Phase Three (April 2021 through May 2021): opportunities to offer feedback on draft recommendations at public forums and online. 
  4. Phase Four (June 2021 through July 2021): refinement and finalization of recommendations that incorporate community feedback gathered throughout the engagement process. A final report on strategies for building a new model for community safety will be presented to City Council.  

Additional input will come from other previous on ongoing engagement efforts.

Engagement on safety-related issues has happened or is happening through other avenues such as:  

  • Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan  
  • Strategic and Racial Equity Action Plan  
  • Violence Prevention Steering Committee (ongoing) 
  • Promise Zone   
  • Police Conduct Oversight Commission (ongoing) 
  • 911/MPD Response Workgroup (ongoing) 

Continue to check this space, as further details on opportunities to engage will be posted on this website. Updates will also be shared via the City’s Facebook and Twitter. 

Recent actions

Proposed City Charter Amendment 

In June 2020, the City Council gave preliminary approval of a proposed charter amendment to be referred as a ballot question to voters: Community Safety and Violence Prevention Article VII and Article VIII Ordinance

The amendment would have allowed voters to decide whether to create in the City Charter a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. The new department could be responsible for providing community safety services and would oversee armed law enforcement officers if appropriate funding was provided. The amendment also proposed to give the City Council and Mayor shared oversight over the new department. Currently, the Mayor has sole oversight of MPD.

The Charter Commission, the state agency with primary oversight of the City's charter, extended their review of the proposal to allow additional time for analysis and public engagement. This review continues putting the measure beyond the deadline for the ballot in 2020. This measure, or alternative charter amendments, could come before Minneapolis voters in a future election.

Learn more about the Charter amendment process 

MinneapolUS Street Outreach Initiative 

The Mayor and Council allocated $2.5 million of ongoing funding to the Office of Violence Prevention to fund the MinneapolUS Strategic Outreach Initiative. 

Through the initiative, trusted community members work as outreach workers on neighborhood-specific teams. They detect potentially violent events and use informal mediation, non-physical conflict resolution, and interruption expertise to de-escalate situations before they become violent.

They also work to change community norms, mobilizing entire communities to reject violence and healing neighborhoods through activities like awareness building, community gatherings and peace walks. And, they connect people to jobs, housing, mental health and chemical dependency services, and other resources and supports. 

By identifying and interrupting conflicts and working to promote community healing, the initiative is intended to break the “contagious” aspects of violence. This approach is rooted in the power of our local communities. At the same time, it draws from evidence-based strategies like Cure Violence, which has been effectively implemented across the globe. In other cities where Cure Violence has been implemented, studies show strong results:

Minneapolis Police Department Reforms

Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo have been implementing additional reforms to achieve deep, structural change within the MPD.

They've since issued a number of policies that build on their earlier work, which included a first-in-the-nation ban on warrior-style training off-duty, a clearer and more accountable body camera policy, bringing compliance from 55% to 95%, and a more compassionate, victim-centered policy to guide sexual assault investigations.

In June 2020, Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced new policies tightening rules for officer body worn cameras. The new policies prevent Minneapolis officers involved in critical incidents – including the use of deadly force – from reviewing body camera footage prior to completing an initial police report for the critical incident.

The updated policies are designed to better capture officers’ perceptions and factors believed to exist at the time an officer acted. The policies also provide clearer direction to supervisors regarding immediate on-scene communications, remove past barriers on such communications, and clarify time requirements for reporting.

In July 2020, Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo moved forward with changes to the MPD's force reporting requirement that place a stronger emphasis on de-escalation. The new policy expands the scope for force reporting requirements across the board. It also mandates more detail and specifics in how officers report force used. For the first time in the department's history, the new policy requires documentations of attempts to de-escalate in all police reports, even in those where force was not used.

In August 2020, Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo announced an overhaul of MPD’s use of force policy to make it as stringent as possible under state law. The new policy requires that officers use the lowest level of force needed to safely engage a subject and that officers first consider all reasonable alternatives before using deadly force.

The changes also include revisions to what constitutes the use of force to include the threat of force and prohibiting behavior that incites or escalates a situation. Also included was a ban on shooting at moving vehicles (with limited exceptions). Additional policy changes will be taking place.

Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigation and temporary restraining order

On June 2, 2020, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights launched an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). This occurred after filing a civil rights charge related to the killing of George Floyd. The investigation will look into policies, procedures and practices over the past 10 years to determine if MPD has engaged in systematic discriminatory practices toward People of Color. Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council have supported the investigation.  

Temporary restraining order terms

As part of this, the City Council approved the terms of a temporary restraining order. The temporary restraining order outlined immediate changes and a framework for systemic change.

The immediate changes required by the order were: 

  • MPD must ban neck restraints or choke holds for any reason.  
  • Regardless of tenure or rank, any member of the MPD who observes another member of the MPD use any unauthorized use of force, including any choke hold or neck restraint, has an affirmative duty to immediately report the incident while still on scene by phone or radio to their commander or their commander’s superiors. 
  • Regardless of tenure or rank, any member of the MPD who observes another member of the MPD use any unauthorized use of force, including any choke hold or neck restraint, must attempt to safely intervene by verbal and physical means, and if they do not do so they are subject to discipline to the same severity as if they themselves engaged in the prohibited use of force. 
  • Only the police chief or the chief’s designee at the rank of deputy chief or above may authorize the use of crowd control weapons during protests and demonstrations. 
  • The police chief must make timely discipline decisions as outlined in the order. 
  • Civilian body warn camera analysts and investigators with the City’s Office of Police Conduct Review have the authority to proactively audit body worn camera footage and file or amend complaints on behalf of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.

Minnesotans with information that can further the investigation into the MPD should contact the Department of Human Rights online or by calling 651-539-1100.

Additional information

Background

Pursuing additional ways to cultivate safety in Minneapolis is not new. Over the past decade, the City has implemented numerous strategies and initiatives to address community safety outside the realm of traditional law enforcement. During that time, MPD has also engaged in efforts beyond traditional enforcement. 

Ongoing work in this area includes: 

911/MPD response workgroup

This group is currently working to prototype alternative responses to Emotionally Disturbed Person Calls and non-criminal 911 calls.

Office of Violence Prevention

In 2006, the City declared youth violence a public health issue. Since then, the City’s violence prevention work has steadily expanded with the Minneapolis Health Department. In 2008, the City released its Blueprint for Action to Prevention Youth Violence, a comprehensive citywide strategic plan. In 2013, the city revised The Blueprint and joined the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. In 2016, the Health Department launched Next Step, a hospital-based violence intervention program partnership with Hennepin Healthcare and North Memorial. Next Step focuses on promoting healing and interrupting the cycle of violence for individuals who are victims of a violence assault injury. In 2017, they launched a Group Violence Intervention strategy, a local version of a national best practice focused on reducing group/gang violence. In 2018, continued expansion led to the creation of the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) within the City Code of Ordinances. Learn more about OVP programming 

MPD staffing and efficiency study

Currently underway.  

MPD off-duty workgroup

Currently underway. 

Community safety efforts have been driven by policy actions including

  • Staff directions
  • Resolutions
  • Ordinance changes
  • Investments
  • Other actions by the City Council and Mayor.

The City has also engaged regularly with community members on safety issues as part of several recent policy initiatives, including the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the Strategic and Racial Equity Action Plan (SREAP) and more.  

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