Today, Mayor Jacob Frey’s Community Safety Work Group outlined recommendations for improving public safety in Minneapolis, including strategies for strengthening oversight of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), bolstering officer recruitment efforts and accountability systems, and expanding violence prevention and behavioral crisis response programs.
Frey convened the Community Safety Work Group on Dec. 4, 2021, which is co-chaired by Nekima Levy Armstrong, attorney and civil rights activist, and Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis, lead minister for Plymouth Congregational Church. The 22-member volunteer work group includes community members and experts engaged on the full spectrum of community safety initiatives.
Highlights of the work group’s recommendations include:
- Improve oversight and coordination within MPD, including creating a new leadership position focused on the coordination of community safety related functions within the City enterprise.
- Strengthen MPD’s recruitment and hiring process by implementing a first-in-class police recruitment and training program focused on building a pipeline of future candidates who live in Minneapolis.
- Significantly improve the quality of MPD training with a series of action steps.
- Strengthen MPD’s disciplinary and accountability systems.
- Expand violence prevention programs and the City’s behavioral crisis response strategy.
“Minneapolis needs to be safe for its residents – that’s one thing we can all agree on,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “I convened this group of community leaders to think critically about the current and future safety needs of our city and to provide transformational recommendations for a path forward. They did just that. From significantly improving the quality of our police trainings to expanding our nationally recognized violence prevention programming, we have the opportunity now to achieve true progress and create lasting change. Thank you to the co-chairs, Ms. Levy Armstrong and Rev. Dr. Davis, for their leadership in guiding this work – and many thanks to the entire work group for volunteering their skills and experience for the betterment of our city.”
“Minneapolis residents have made it clear that they want to see a culture shift happen within the Minneapolis Police Department, along with an increased focus on transparency and accountability,” said work group co-chair Nekima Levy Armstrong. “Residents also want to see a significant reduction in gun violence and a stronger focus on violence intervention and prevention. Mayor Jacob Frey has the opportunity to implement these recommendations to improve MPD and make our city more livable for all.”
“I believe that by implementing these recommendations, Mayor Frey has an opportunity to keep faith with the citizens of Minneapolis who are concerned and frustrated about community safety and lack of police accountability,” said work group co-chair Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis. “But he also gets to take a good first step at demonstrating the City’s commitment to reforming a system long overdue for systemic change. I am hopeful about this opportunity before us, and I pray the Mayor will make every effort to see that the work gets done to make our city safer.”
Mayor Frey will be considering the implementation of these recommendations in the coming weeks as he prepares to finalize and present his recommended 2023 City budget.