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Minneapolis Left Scrambling to Recruit More Cops as Officers Flee Vilified Police Department in Droves

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Minneapolis is planning to spend $6.4 million to hire dozens of police officers at a time when some City Council members and activists have been seeking to abolish the police department altogether following George Floyd’s death.

The City Council voted unanimously Friday to approve the additional funding that police requested.

The department says it only has 638 officers available to work — roughly 200 fewer than usual.

An unprecedented number of officers quit or went on extended medical leave after Floyd’s death and the violence that followed, which included the burning of a police precinct.

With new recruit classes, the city anticipates it will have 674 officers available at the end of the year, with another 28 in the hiring process, the Star Tribune reported.

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Floyd died May 25 after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest. Floyd’s death sparked protests and riots that spread across the country.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and is scheduled for trial on March 8. Three other former officers are charged with aiding and abetting and are scheduled for trial in August.

While there have been calls to dismantle the department, some residents have begged the city to hire more officers, citing longer response times and an increase in violent crime.

Do you think the anti-police movement is to blame for Minneapolis' shortage of officers?

Three City Council members have proposed replacing the police department with a public safety department that would include law enforcement and other services.

A coalition of local community groups is also collecting signatures to try to get a similar proposal on the November ballot.

Minneapolis cut $8 million from the police department in a budget passed late last year.


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