Minneapolis Residents Reject Proposal To Replace Police Department


Minneapolis voters on Tuesday rejected a proposal to replace the city’s police department with a Department of Public Safety, The Associated Press projected. The result is a blow to the nationwide movement to overhaul policing spurred by the death of George Floyd a year and a half ago.

The ballot initiative would have amended the city’s charter to remove a requirement that the police department maintain a minimum of officers.

It asked residents whether the police department should be replaced with a Department of Public Safety “that employs a comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions by the Department of Public Safety,” the specifics of which would be determined by the mayor and City Council.

Supporters said the measure would reduce the role of armed police officers in calls involving homeless people, mental health issues and substance use, though they would still be part of the new department and would respond to violent crime.

Opponents of the measure criticized the ballot language for saying that the new department “could include” licensed police officers, if necessary, to fulfill its public safety responsibilities.

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