Public Safety

Safety is a Right for all and the number one priority of government is to provide for the protection of the people within its borders. Our city could have the best parks, bike lanes, transit system, etc, but none of that means anything if residents, visitors, and businesses are not protected and do not feel safe.

Just as city leaders must work to ensure the safety of the public, we must also insist that the policing is done in a way that is humane, respects the dignity of all people, and puts the protection of life first and foremost. When we fail to do this the consequences are severe and painful as has been shown time and again in Minneapolis and elsewhere throughout our nation. The reasons for this are many and varied and so must be the ways that we address it. 

As your member of City Council I will enhance public safety by:

  • Supporting the hiring of additional sworn officers to provide adequate staffing to better protect the public from increasing violent crime.
  • De-emphasize the enforcement of drug possession crimes for small amounts not intended for sale.
  • Insisting that future MPD officers better reflect the diversity of the citizens they serve.
  • Revamping the Police Conduct Oversight Commission (PCOC) to include more members from the community and giving the PCOC an advisory role in meting out discipline in police misconduct cases.
  • Reimplementing a more robust Co-Responder Program to handle mental health crisis calls.
  • Create a traffic enforcement division that handles traditional traffic control duties in addition to non-dangerous moving violation.
  • Collaborating with Mpls Public Schools and MnSCU to introduce Minneapolis youth to careers in public safety and create a pipeline into the MPD.
  • Working with other public and private partners to incentivize MPD officers to live in the city and become part of the community they serve.
  • Require that “use of force” documentation include the justification for the use of force.
  • Further studying ways in which members of the Office of Violence Prevention can be deployed to maximum effect.

2 thoughts on “Public Safety

  1. Who controls training for Police Officers, Union or the City?
    It seems the issue of Police going to their guns as the first reaction or using restraint techniques that result in death is just not a Minneapolis issue. It has come out that on average just 20 weeks of training is required for police officers in the US, whereas in other countries this is more around a multi-year program.
    I realize that a gun-first reaction has a lot to do with the prevalence of hand guns in our society, thanks (in part or mainly) to a Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller.
    In the Brooklyn Center case: why is it that the handgun is the dominant choice? Why not the taser?
    Do police officers get wrestling and judo training or other submission martial art training now?
    You as a Fireman probably had to pass a physical test to become one, do we need that also for police officers so there only reaction to a possible threat is not to pull their gun?

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    1. Hi Mark,
      The city controls the training for police officers and you are correct that more training needs to be focused on less lethal weapon deployment. Right after Daunte Wright was killed I saw a frightening statistic that said police train to draw their pistol many times more than they practice drawing the taser. The amount of practice should be at least one-to-one. Cops also do get training in martial arts, but I suspect that their fear is more about dying by gun-fire than by hand-to-hand combat.
      I used to have a permit to carry a handgun but I still had what’s referred to as a “duty to retreat” if I felt my life was in danger. If I could reasonably retreat and extricate myself from danger I would not be justified in using my pistol for defense. Perhaps if police actions were judge more on this duty to retreat standard, and practices and training focused more on retreating and not placing themselves in harms, way we would have less unjustified killings. Neither would have helped in the Wright or Floyd killings but probably would have helped in the Philando Castille killing.
      The abundance of guns in our country is a huge contributor to the state of hypervigilance that causes police to reach for their sidearm too often. Thats a whole other issue. I’m not sure how you would test to see if someone would pull a taser over a gun, but training and policies backed up with consequences for misdeeds would be a good start to changing the practice of defaulting to the most lethal option. CP

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