Community group works on plan to help Minneapolis find new officers in new year

Inside a small south Minneapolis church’s basement, a big discussion took place about new ways to help police recruit new officers involving MPD leaders, members of the Police Community Relations Council, and residents.

“We’ve really got to speak up to our people, for our communities, you’ve got to be a part of this, if you want to change the narrative,” said long-time activist Al Flowers.
 
“When our numbers went down our resources went down, everything went down, we’re bare bones, 911 calls and investigations, so we need assistance,” said Sgt. Keia Boyd, who helps lead MPD recruiting.

The group is working on the final details of a plan to create a recruiting video campaign targeted at Minneapolis youth, and opening more houses of worship, for a possible “Public Safety Sunday” to welcome in recruiters.

During Thursday morning’s meeting, the Police Community Relations Council discussed trying to help the department find 100 new officers and 911 center staff in the new year.

The most recent city data shows 603 sworn officers, down 300 since the days before George Floyd’s murder in May 2020.

Just this week, the Minneapolis City Council approved funding for 731 sworn officers, and four classes of police recruits in the new budget. 

“Recruitment is challenging not just in Minneapolis but all across the country right now — the more people we have to help us recruit, the better,” said Deputy Chief Troy Schoenberger. “It means a lot to us.”  
The PCRC plans to meet in January, to establish a timeline for the recruiting projects.

“The MPD and along with us, we going to partner with partners to get this done,” said PCRC Chair, Reverend Ian D. Bethel.