Updated: 07/02/2014 7:36 AM
Created: 07/01/2014 8:38 PM KSTP.com
By: Jay Kolls
A police source tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Minneapolis Police paid "significant" overtime in June to cover short-staffed shifts in three of city's five precincts.
The Minneapolis Police Department would like 850 police on the streets but right now have only about 780 on patrol. This shortage is due, in large part, to a lot of retirements the past couple of years.
"Hundreds of hours of overtime were paid in the First, Third and Fourth Precincts in June," the source said.
There were days that the number of police on the streets were well below the "recommended minimum" for any shift in a precinct, according to the source.
We asked MPD for the shift schedules for June, but a spokesperson told us the information was not available Tuesday.
City Councilmember Blong Yang is the chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee. He tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS hiring more police is a "top priority" and the chief of police is moving fast to fill those empty patrol spots.
Yang says it takes a lot of time to graduate a cadet class and then get them ready for the streets. Yang says he is confident the city will have 850 officers back on the streets by early next year.