The Minneapolis City Council approved a budget on Thursday (December 10) that will move $8 million from the police budget and transfer the funds to mental health and other community resources.
The approval comes months after the murder of George Floyd and the global call to bring an end to police brutality by defunding police departments.
According to a report by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the budget was approved in a narrow 7-6 vote. Mayor Jacob Frey reportedly threatened to veto the budget if there was a decrease in the number of officers on the force included in the proposal.
Council members wanted to reduce the number of Minneapolis officers from 888 to 750 by 2022, but moved forward with the approval.
“My colleagues were right to leave the targeted staffing level unchanged from 888 and continue moving forward with our shared priorities,” Frey stated.
The millions taken out of the police budget is set to expand violence prevention and mental health crisis response teams, as reported by NPR.
The funds shifted away from police represents a fraction of its $179 million budget. Some residents said the $8 million didn’t go far enough during a public hearing ahead of the vote. “Police come after harm has happened and do nothing to change the conditions which lead to harm and violence,” Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg stated.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the decrease in funds would mean less overtime pay available to officers responding to emergency calls. He also cited being prepared for impeding unrest as the trials of the four former officers are set to begin next year.
“It is a natural necessity to have overtime,” he said. “[Officers] will not just stop their duties when their 10-hour shift is up. They will stay there to complete the task.”
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