Minneapolis still trying to fill 200 police jobs, another 20 in 911 center
The city of Minneapolis is again asking for more people to apply for jobs within its public safety sector.
The day after Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara noted the “really, really low numbers of sworn personnel” dealing with crime reports, the city said it is still trying to fill around 200 jobs in its police department and another 20 spots in the 911 center.
“Certainly, we’re down a couple of hundred, but I think that’s an opportunity, too,” Minneapolis Commissioner of Community Safety Cedric Alexander told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “I think that’s an opportunity to look forward. I think it’s an opportunity to go out and talk to young people.”
Alexander added that showing new recruits that the Minneapolis Police Department is charting a new course is key to convincing them to join the force.
“And that’s huge. Once young people get excited, get energized, get them motivated and they come in and they want to do a good job. They want to serve,” he said.
According to the city, the 911 center currently has around 50 call-takers, operators and dispatchers and is working to get to 70. The Minneapolis Police Department is still trying to get to 731 officers that the city budgeted for.
While talking about a homicide Monday night, O’Hara pleaded for more residents to step forward to help the department.
“We do desperately need more police officers, we need more people from the community, we need more people that are interested in being a part of the Minneapolis Police Department, being a part of positive change, to step forward because our cops are doing an incredibly difficult job,” O’Hara said. ‘”They’re doing it really well, but if we’re going to continue this momentum and get things back to where they should be, we desperately need more help.”
The chief continued, saying that law enforcement agencies can’t handle the burden of cracking down on crime all by themselves.
“The cops that are left here are doing multiple functions, they’re doing an incredibly difficult job,” O’Hara added. “We do need more help, we need more people that are willing to step up and be a part of making positive change and not just looking to the few people who are left here to do it and we definitely need more … I’m willing to partner with any community-based organization that exists that are willing to be a part of trying to make this better, trying to keep people alive and trying to do everything that we possibly can to make sure everyone in this city can be safer. It’s definitely not one thing that the Minneapolis Police Department can do by itself and it’s not one thing that all of the different law enforcement agencies can do by themselves, it’s something that we need everyone involved, everyone has a role to play in this and — like you pointed it out, we didn’t get into it overnight, we’re not going to get out of it overnight — but we need people to be serious about doing everything possible to continue the momentum we have.”
The city says the police department has many entry-level positions for people who want to help the community, and the 911 center is looking for people who are steady under pressure and thrive as part of a team.
Alexander says there are talks underway to offer a financial bonus for new MPD recruits.
“Well, it is a good idea. It is a good idea because, you know, people incentivize for a lot of different reasons,” he said. “But I think one of the best incentives that anyone could ever have is when they have it from the heart that this is something that they really want to do.”
More information for anyone interested in one of the positions is available online.