Minneapolis: We should bring in some outside cops to replace all the ones we abolished

After the city of Minneapolis voted to defund their police earlier this year in response to all of the George Floyd riots, things didn’t work out particularly well. Crime was steadily rising while residents grew increasingly frightened, angry and vocal about conditions out on the streets. Now, after more than 500 shootings and 70 murders, it appears that the message was finally starting to sink in. We learned earlier this week that the City Council was planning a vote for Friday where they would decide on a possible infusion of $500,000 to bring in outside law enforcement officers to bolster the ranks of the city police.

Yesterday, a closely divided council narrowly voted to approve the funds and the extra officers. What’s truly remarkable here is that even with things going to hell in a handbasket on the streets of Minneapolis, they still almost failed to approve a measure like this. On top of that, as soon as the measure passed, they found out that it may not be possible to implement it anyway.

Minneapolis officials plan to bring in outside law enforcement officers to help amid a shortage — but the new teams might not form in the way initially expected.

A divided City Council on Friday approved nearly $500,000 to contract with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit police for extra officers. Together, they would work on joint enforcement teams responding to 911 calls or targeting hot spots for violence around the city…

It’s been a tumultuous year for the Minneapolis Police Department, with some people pushing to abolish it after George Floyd’s death and others asking for more officers amid a wave of violent crime and a staffing shortage. About 500 people have been wounded by gunfire this year, and more than 70 have been killed.

So the plan is to use the new funding to bring in officers from the Metro Transit Police and deputies from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department to help with response times for 911 calls and to target violent crime hotspots. Sounds pretty good, right? I’d agree, except there was a small problem with the plan. Nobody told the Metro Police or the Sheriff’s Department about this in advance.

In yet another stellar moment of administrative competence, the City Council apparently just assumed that those departments would have officers available and ready to fill up the ranks. But a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Council said that while they sympathize with the situation, the Metro Police “do not have capacity to provide additional resources to the Minneapolis Police Department.” The County Sheriff sounded a bit more optimistic but said he couldn’t commit to anything until he’d seen all of the details and they worked out how many hours his deputies would have to work and what the reimbursement rates would be.

Not for nothing, but perhaps none of this would have been necessary if the City Council hadn’t spent the entire year siding with the rioters, blaming the cops and setting up the police force for a nearly unprecedented wave of early retirements and resignations. Minneapolis didn’t have a problem with bad policing until the city undercut and gutted their own police. Did you really think the criminals weren’t going to notice all of this and take advantage, particularly when they could use the BLM demonstrations as cover? It’s what they do. That’s why we call them criminals.

I suppose we should give at least some credit to the Minneapolis City Council for finally realizing that their house was on fire and trying to set up a bucket brigade. But this measure doesn’t appear to have been well thought out and it may still turn out to be too little, too late.