Over the past year, there has been a sharp uptick in violent crimes. As a result, many major cities have defunded their police departments without any real plan for reform or outline for dealing with the sharp increases in local crime. Now a local judge feels the need to step in.
A Judge Steps In
In Hennepin County, District Court Judge Jamie L. Anderson has order Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey to start hiring more officers. He said, “immediately take any and all necessary action to ensure that they fund a police force.”
Anderson said that Frey and his fellow council members have "failed" official duties outlined by and within the cities charter. He says that letting officers leave in large numbers is against the minimum number of officers required by the city charter.
They need to have 735 officers sworn in by June 30, 2022.
Right now, the Minneapolis Police Department says they will have 690. Forty-six officers will still be on long-term leave.
They also estimate that if the current trend continues, they will be down to 649 by January 2022. According to MSN, the judge used 2019 population numbers to determine the number of officers,
The judge also agreed that the police department would not likely see a higher number until Jan 2023. When the city estimated that they would only need 650 officers, they used population data from 2010.
“If the City is not proactive in anticipating what will be required of it in coming years, it will constantly be behind — constantly underperforming and, as a result, understaffing the police force,”Judge Anderson
Current Law Suits
The city has eight pending lawsuits against it for not keeping the streets safe. All of them claim the city allowed the number of officers to sink below the required number.
The plaintiffs also cite defunding the police policies as one of the reasons for so many officers quitting. With these policies, it is also near impossible to hire new officers.
Not many applicants are joining the academies throughout the nation. However, MPD will have the most challenging time out of all the departments in the nation due to the death of George Floyd and others.
One of the citizens is former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels and his wife, Sondra, who said that legal action is their only choice as the city council is not listening to its people.