The Minneapolis police chief wants to add some 400 new patrol officers to the force by the year 2025.
Chief Medaria Arradondo told the City Council's Public Safety and Emergency Management Committee Wednesday that the current number of about 600 patrol officers cannot keep up with demands for service.
"And because our staffing needs have not been properly addressed for many years, it has resulted in our current MPD resources being strained to capacity, and quite frankly we are hemorrhaging,” he said. “I am not blaming this Council or even previous police administrations. The MPD funding model has been broken, quite frankly, for decades."
Arradondo will ask for 30 new positions in the upcoming budget cycle. A department spokesperson said although the chief has set the target for 400 more patrol officers, it’s a long-term goal and may change.
However, the chief stressed to the committee there is a need for more officers now.
He pointed to a statistic from the last year regarding the number of “priority one” calls coming into police dispatchers. Those calls included assaults, shootings, and overdoses in which there was no squad car available to respond.
"That happened 1,251 times. This is unacceptable to me as chief, and I know for all of you as well," he said.
Arradondo said officers are spread too thin, and are increasingly having to deal with the results of social problems including drug abuse and homelessness.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.