Refund the police? Minneapolis starts begging for outside resources

Refund the police? Minneapolis starts begging for outside resources

Old and busted: We don’t need our police in our city! New hotness: We need your police in our city! Minneapolis’ city council, which spent most of the summer and fall demanding the ability to dismantle its police force, has now started begging for police officers from neighboring jurisdictions to help them deal with skyrocketing crime:

Minneapolis officials are considering bringing in officers from other jurisdictions to help the city’s Police Department as they face a wave of violent crime and an officer shortage.

If the mayor and City Council approve the plan, officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police would temporarily work with the city, primarily helping to respond to violent 911 calls.

“We’re not gonna be having these people out taking bicycle theft reports. These are going to be people out combating crime issues,” said John Elder, a spokesman for Minneapolis police.

The officers would form Joint Enforcement Teams, known as JETs. Elder said the city has relied on such teams in the past, particularly to help in areas where violence was spiking.

So how much will this cost Minneapolis residents, who are still paying for a full-sized police department? Looks like defund has turned to refund, according to WCCO:

Earlier this year, WCCO-TV reported that the department has lost a large number of officers in the wake of the unrest following the death of George Floyd. That led to some residents suing the city, claiming there are not enough officers to protect them as crime is on the rise.

There is currently a $500,000 proposal on the table to pay for supplemental patrols from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit through the end of the year.

That’s a half-million dollars for seven weeks of police patrols. And WCCO misses out on one key point — it wasn’t the unrest that prompted the exodus from the MPD. It was the lack of political support for police and the outright hostility to their continuing presence by the city government which prompted it. Their “abolish the police” crusade incentivized the departure of experienced police officers and all but killed the MPD’s recruiting efforts to find even a normal replacement level.

Now the bill has finally come due for “defund the police.” Will Minneapolis residents finally put the blame where it’s due — on the idiocracy they themselves created by electing their current city council?

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