February 14, 2021 | 5:28pm | Updated February 14, 2021 | 5:34pm
Minneapolis Police Department Chief Medaria Arradondo
The Minnesota city’s police department said it has just 638 officers available to work, 200 fewer than in recent years, the Star Tribune reported.
Several cops quit, retired or went on extended medical leave, many for PTSD claims, after last spring’s riots that included a precinct being burned down and calls to end the police force. Some 155 officers remain on some form of extended leave, the report said.
In the months since the protests, many residents have urged the city to hire more cops, saying they’re waiting longer for responses to 911 calls amid a surge of violent crime.
The additional funding for the force, unanimously approved by the City Council on Friday, comes even as some councilmembers and activist groups are pushing to dismantle the department, saying police haven’t proven effective at reducing crime.
Three council members have written a proposal to replace the force with a “public safety department” that would include policing and other services.
A coalition of community activists called Yes 4 Minneapolis are also working to get a similar proposal on the November ballot.