Proud to proclaim today “Prince Day” in the City of Minneapolis. Prince was a child of our city, one of our own. His enduring love of Minneapolis will forever be matched by our enduring love for him.
In a news conference this morning in Saint Paul, Governor Mark Dayton announced the establishment of the Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations. The council, established by Executive Order, is charged with developing recommendations to build trust and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
I welcome Governor Dayton’s establishment of this important Council. The City of Minneapolis, Chief Harteau, and I are committed to offering data, information, and full support now and throughout the process in order to ensure the Council’s success.
Minneapolis has been leading the way nationally in working with the communities we serve to build a 21st-century police department and to foster trust, transparency and transformed police–community relations. An intentional statewide conversation is an important next step that I applaud.
Current initiatives already underway in the City of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) include, but are not limited to the following:
National Initiative for Building Community Trust & Justice (NI)
The MPD, along with other City staff, continues its work implementing the recommendations from the National Initiative. Throughout 2016, all officers in the department—joined by community representatives—completed Procedural Justice Training. The final module of that training is currently being facilitated, as officers receive additional training on recognizing how implicit biases affect interactions. Chief Harteau and her staff also continue to work with community leaders to conduct empathy and healing sessions, aimed at acknowledging the history of troubled police–community relations and addressing how that history plays a role in current police–community relations. More information on the NI can be found on the trustandjustice.org website.
Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)
By the end of the 2016 calendar year, all MPD Patrol Officers will have completed this 40-hour training, which improves the safety of residents, family members and officers by providing the foundation necessary to assist individuals with mental illness through recognition, communication, and de-escalation techniques. The training is facilitated jointly by the MPD, the Minnesota CIT Officers Association and the Barbara Schneider Foundation.
Thorough Assessment of ‘Use of Force’ Policies and Training
In the summer of 2015, the department’s Leadership and Organizational Development (LOD) Division was tasked with conducting a top-down assessment of the MPD’s use of force policies and training. Through that process, it was clear that the department’s training and policies were up-to-date and progressive compared to other departments around the country. However, the Police Chief and the Commander of LOD continued to explore ideas intended to improve the safety of our residents and officers. In July of this year, the MPD announced the following new and updated policies:
- Sanctity of life: The cornerstone of the MPD’s use of force policy is the sanctity of life, and the protection of the public.
- Duty to intervene: Officers are required to intervene if they are at a scene where physical force is being applied by another officer, if that force is inappropriate or continues to be used when such force is no longer required.
- Duty to report: Employees must report any misconduct at the scene of an incident to a supervisor, as well as the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU). This mandated reporting includes, but is not limited to, unreasonable force.
- Manual revision of policy regarding de-escalation: The policy was updated to emphasize de-escalation tactics and was reformatted for clarity and consistency.
Body Worn Cameras (BWC)
By the end of October 2016, every Minneapolis Police Department Patrol Officer will be trained and equipped to use a BWC. The policy resulted from community input and research of similar programs in other departments and is a key element in ongoing efforts to improve community trust and transparency. The BWC policy is in alignment with national best practice standards and sensitive to the unique needs of our diverse Minneapolis communities.
Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) Training
In 2014, every MPD officer and recruit went through this training, which gives officers the tools to recognize their biases and the biases of others. All future recruits will also receive the training, a science-based model developed by nationally recognized experts. The FIP training is based on the underlying understanding that every single member of society has biases.
More details on these current progressive initiatives (and others), training manuals, complete policies and MPD assessments can be found on the MPD’s website, www.insidempd.com/initiatives.
In my proposed 2017 budget, released in August, I emphasized the need to invest in the community to improve public safety, and the need to invest in the Police Department to improve public trust. I proposed several investments, including:
- $1,305,000 for fifteen new sworn Minneapolis Police officers: 12 for community policing, and three for a police/mental health co-responder pilot program.
- Nearly $1 million for community-based strategies to improve public safety, including:
- $500,000 for collaborative, community-driven, public-safety strategies in two locations with high levels of youth violence: West Broadway between Lyndale and Girard Avenues, and Little Earth. This innovative initiative will provide technical and financial resources for residents and business owners of these areas, and the community-based organizations that serve them, to decide for themselves what downstream public-safety interventions would best improve public safety there.
- $290,000 for a Group Violence Intervention strategy, a collaboration among the Health Department, MPD, and the community that offers support and resources to offenders who leave violence behind, and holds accountable those who do not.
- $200,000 for mental health co-responders to be paired with sworn officers in the co-responder pilot program. This is community-based public-safety initiative is often requested by community members, and is a recommendation of the City’s Police Conduct Oversight Commission.
- More than $1 million annually for a new, ongoing Community Service Officer class to build in more capacity for a proven, effective pathway for people of color to become sworn police officers.
- Ongoing resources to manage and operate the Minneapolis Police Department body-worn camera program.
- An additional civilian case investigator at the Office of Police Conduct Review, and improvements to the process of filing misconduct cases.
The Minneapolis Police Department is leading the nation in progressive change, and in addressing and implementing the six pillars defined by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st-century policing. The final report of the President’s task force can be found here.
Our country is in the grips of a gun violence crisis, and for too long a loud, powerful and vocal minority have had too much influence over our gun laws. That’s why it’s time for the vocal majority of Americans who support commonsense change that saves lives to stand up and speak out.
Today, the Vocal Majority bus tour featuring Congresswoman Giffords stopped in Saint Paul, and I was proud to stand with her, Congressman Keith Ellison, Mayor Chris Coleman and other elected officials at an event at CHS Field.
I was there this afternoon because I am fed up. I am fed up with gun violence. I am sick and tired of stories that all of us can share from our hearts—stories like that of Birdell Beeks, a grandmother shot and killed in May while sitting in a minivan. Or the story of three-year-old Terrell Mayes, killed the day after Christmas while running up the stairwell to his house. Or the story of two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones, who died in July when he and his sister were shot in a drive-by shooting.
I’m sick and tired of hearing these stories and I’m sick and tired of having to tell them.
I’m ready; we’re all ready, for a change. Sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated, to want to throw our hands up in the air and give up. But we value each other too much to let this situation—the lack of action to bring about commonsense solutions—to stand.
Out of our frustration we must turn to action. And in the coming weeks, that means we have to vote. Vote for leaders who will be part of the Vocal Majority, who are willing to stand up to the gun lobby and get things done for our cities and our communities. And we need to make sure that our neighbors, friends and families get registered to vote and do the same.
And now we need everyone else to stand with us. So, this November, join me, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and Captain Mark Kelly, and say you’re part of the Vocal Majority and be a gun violence voter. Our voices matter and our votes matter.
Please visit www.thevocalmajority.com and get involved.
This afternoon I joined with Chief Harteau for a press conference at First Precinct headquarters regarding the shootings that took place early this morning downtown. Here are my remarks:
This morning’s shootings in downtown Minneapolis are unacceptable. This is not who we are as a city. Gun violence anywhere in this city is unacceptable—it’s unacceptable on the north side and it is unacceptable downtown.
I have spent a lot of time downtown, in the Warehouse District, and on Hennepin Avenue. I have spent time talking to business owners, business leaders, youth workers, police officers, and people on the street. I have spent time walking around at different times of day to see for myself what is going on. From this, I know that two things are true.
First, around this city people are coming together, they are picking fights and settling disputes with one another: too often violently, too often with guns and too often downtown. We saw this last night.
Gun violence anywhere in this city is unacceptable and I am sick of it.
We as a city have been responding in a number of ways.
Because we know that a relatively small number of people are responsible for a good deal of the violence happening in this city, I have built a collaboration of officials from all levels of government — city, county, and state — to start a Group Violence Intervention initiative. It will call in the offenders who are at the highest risk of perpetrating violence; offer them every resource they need to redirect their lives productively, and hold them accountable if they do not. It will begin later this year. We have won a $250,000 grant for it from the Department of Justice, and I have proposed an additional $290,000 in the 2017 budget to keep it moving forward.
We have been in close collaboration for about a year with business, on a Hospitality Zone project that will transform the night-time experience of downtown and the Warehouse District. We will soon be putting into place a first step of that project, a nighttime mobility management plan that, by moving vehicles and people more effectively through downtown at night, will increase safety for everyone.
We know that the solutions to the violence that we experience are not all about law enforcement. It is an important tool but it is a limited tool for dealing with violence.
I want to thank Chief Harteau, I want to thank our officers for their great work in making sure that we are implementing our law enforcement tools effectively to deal with violence. And we are deploying our law enforcement tools and we will keep deploying our law enforcement tools to manage violence, to end violence, to prevent violence throughout the city and downtown. Chief Harteau will speak of this in more detail.
I will say that nearly 60 new officers are in training right now and will be on the streets by the end of the year. I have also proposed raising the authorized strength of the Police Department by 15 new officers next year, specifically in order to do the kind of community policing that leads to long-term violence reduction and crime prevention.
It’s also true that downtown Minneapolis is a thriving, vibrant, and safe place. Tens of thousands of people come here every single day to work, eat, shop, and enjoy themselves. They come from every city in our region, every country in the world, and every neighborhood in Minneapolis — and all are welcome. They come downtown because all of us — businesses, workers, officers, residents — work hard to welcome them and create a safe, entertaining, and productive environment for them, and for everyone. Downtown belongs to all of us.
And I will say a word again about illegal guns in our city: there are too many of them. As a result, disputes that otherwise might be settled with words, fists, or less lethal weapons are instead routinely settled with guns.
If there weren’t a gun, there wouldn’t be a shooting.
I’m fed up with illegal guns and the destruction that they cause. There are many common-sense solutions out there that would curb the unacceptable levels of illegal gun violence that we live with, but powerful forces at the state and national levels continue to block those solutions, no matter how much we all want them. Until this happens, until we can come together at the national and state level for rational policy, Minneapolis and cities like us will be fighting battles that it would be a lot easier to win if those powerful forces that support the status quo weren’t arrayed against us and our residents.
We all have the responsibility to work together — police, business, government, and community — to keep downtown safe, to set and enforce standards of acceptable behavior, and to keep our entire city safe, both immediately and in the long-term. You can see that up here we are resolved and determined to do so.
Today, after several months of work, I released my budget for the City of Minneapolis for 2017: I am investing in public safety, accommodating the great growth of our city, equity, and the fundamentals of good government. Now the City Council gets to look over the budget in detail, and votes to approve it in December. I look forward to cooperating and working with them closely on that process.
Writing the City’s budget is my favorite part of this job. Some people spend their summer at the lake or a cabin, some people play ultimate or softball or midnight basketball: but in my summer, there is little I look forward to more than sitting in conference rooms poring over the minutiae of sprawling spreadsheets.
#budgetnerd. #greeneyeshade. I own it. 100%.
At the end of the day, after all the spreadsheets, it turns out that meeting the three fundamental needs of public safety, growth, and good government in the 21st century is increasingly one and the same thing.
These are just some of the highlights of my proposed budget for 2017:
- Improving public safety with nearly $1 million for downstream, community-based strategies, including: an often-requested mental-health co-responder pilot program with three new police officers working with mental-health professionals; and resources for community to develop collaborative strategies in two locations with high levels of youth violence.
- $14.5 million for affordable-housing development to help everyone afford to live in Minneapolis.
- More support for body cameras: police officers are now wearing them Downtown and in North Minneapolis, and by mid-October they will be in every corner of our city. MPD is now one of the largest police departments in the country to have body cameras on officers.
- Building trust between community members and police officers by adding 12 new officers for community policing, a pillar of 21st-century policing.
- Support for the Trans* Equity Summit, and for accelerating gender-inclusive bathrooms in City-owned buildings.
- 5 additional full-time sworn firefighters, raising the authorized strength of firefighters for the first time in many years.
- Support for outreach and education about our new Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance, which means that workers in Minneapolis will no longer have to choose between getting paid and getting well.
- More than $1 million annually for a new, ongoing Community Service Officer class in the Police Department. The CSO program has proven to be an effective pathway for people of color to become police officers, and our department must look like the city we serve.
- Investments to help small businesses, including a full-time position — one person, with one email and one phone number — who will make it easier for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs to navigate City systems, get up and running, and prosper.
- Targeted investments for youth and people with disabilities in the East African community.
- Support for my “Talking Is Teaching” initiative to close the “Word Gap” and help stop racial disparities in small children before they ever arise.
- More resources for the fundamentals like Animal Care and Control, fairly assessing real estate, training and diverse career pathways for City employees, enhancing sustainability, and maximizing our return on big events like the Super Bowl, Final Four, and the X Games.
(You can read a summary of my budget and how we pay for it, read the full text of my budget speech, or watch the speech. In future posts, I’ll discuss all these investments and questions in more detail.)
The investments I make in public safety — which represent more than 70 percent of all the new ongoing investments that I propose for next year — build on the great work we have been doing, surely and sometimes quietly, over the past several years: getting body cameras on police officers; accelerated procedural-justice and crisis-intervention training for all officers; an Early Intervention System; implicit-bias training; enhancing and measuring community policing; more pathways for people of color to choose public-safety careers; an innovative municipal criminal-justice agenda to divert low-level and first-time offenders when possible; restorative justice; youth violence prevention; and more.
I make these investments because we are going to have a police department. What we get to have, however, is a 21st-century police department that is rooted in 21st-century policing, built on a foundation of trust, and dedicated to transforming police–community relations.
We have worked very hard for the problems that are accompanying growth in our city, and we should take them as a sign of success. If I got in a time machine today and traveled back to the depths of the last recession in 2009 and explained to people that in 2016, some of the challenges we’re facing are traffic delays caused by so much construction in downtown Minneapolis, and keeping up with restaurant inspections because there is a restaurant boom, they would have been ecstatic. But still, they are problems, and in my budget, I invest in solving them.
I ran for mayor on a pledge to tackle the many racial disparities that threaten to hold our city back from its greatest future, and every day since I’ve had the honor of serving as Mayor, I’ve worked on it. In the previous two years, we’ve made significant investments in equity that are slowly but surely transforming City government, and I propose more of them for next year. I am proud that increasingly, we are building equity into the very DNA of our work as a city.
How we pay for it
Earlier this year, the City Council, the Park Board, and I passed a landmark agreement to restore and enhance neighborhood parks and City streets for the next 20 years. When the cost of that agreement was added onto the natural growth of the cost of current services, we anticipated a property-tax increase of 4.9 percent for next year.
What we did not expect was that the State would not enact into law a tax bill with the increase in Local Government Aid that we anticipated.
Most, if not all, of the difference between the anticipated 4.9 percent property-tax increase and the proposed 5.5 percent increase could be made up by the additional Local Government Aid that we anticipated but which did not materialize. If the Legislature passes a corrected tax bill with the increase that Governor Dayton can sign later this year, I recommend that we use it to cut the proposed 2017 tax increase back to the 4.9 percent increase that we originally anticipated.
I also took a hard look at our budget and am proposing $2.7 million in strategic, significant cuts. These cuts allow for some of the significant investments in public safety that I am proposing.
Three questions, one answer
I have often spoken about the three questions on the white board in my office that I ask myself every day: How does this make the city run well? How does this move the dial on growing the city? How does this move the dial on equity?
These are good questions and I continue to ask them — and increasingly, we are behaving in the City of Minneapolis as if those three questions on my white board are just one. The budget I’ve proposed shows that more and more, all three of them can be answered with the same investments in good government, growth, and public safety.
I look forward to a great conversation this fall about next year’s budget, and about our goals, priorities, and direction as we move forward together as a city and a people.