Two proposals for Minneapolis public safety programs have been announced in the last week:
You can explore both of these proposals visually at plans.minneapolissafetydata.com.
The biggest change in this four year period has been the overall size of the city budget, while MPD's share of it has remained relatively constant.
Though critics have claimed the call to dismantle policing in Minneapolis has been rushed, some residents have been actively and publicly lobbying to decrease the size of the police budget for several years. In 2018, community pressure led to the City Council changing the police budget to shift about $1 million into community-based violence prevention.
Yet this reveals the broader trend: that shift occurred only in the context of an increase of 2.2% to the Police budget. A smaller increase than the Mayor proposed, but an increase nonetheless. Conflict over the police budget has been fought in recent years between proponents of expanded policing ‐ who have for decades counted on strong support inside city hall ‐ and grassroots groups urging a new model of public safety ‐ which have evolved out of Black Lives Matter movement organizing.
Police budgets, in absolute terms, rose during the period 2018-2020. This occurred as the overall city budget rose. The voices calling for a new approach to public safety ‐ and a corresponding shift in budgeting ‐ were treated as marginal. Given mostly lip service (even by the mayor, in his 2019 budget address) and small concessions.
Until George Floyd was murdered, and public perception shifted massively, and calls to defund or dismantle MPD gained prominence in mainstream discussions. But we have yet to see that call to action translated into big changes to MPD's budget. Mayor Jacob Frey's 2021 proposal for the budget does shrink MPD's operating funds by 7.4%, but only in the context of an overall 5.7% reduction across the entire city operating budget. Not to mention the context that many officers have quit the force in one form or another, and this proposed budget has been couched around "eliminating dozens of unfilled positions"