Council committee approves blueprint plan for Minneapolis public safety

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A Minneapolis City Council committee has approved a blueprint plan from the Office of Violence Prevention. It includes the office’s next steps to provide public safety.

This comes amid a rise in crime and violence in the city, and this is just the beginning of its public safety reform.

Director Sascha Cotton unveiled the preliminary plan, which includes getting more feedback before all the action-steps are taken to address public safety. Some of the programming initiatives talked about include mobile "pop-up parks," mental health co-responder teams and domestic violence outreach.

Their outline also includes a series of community engagement sessions starting next month.

"We’re going to have to balance our approach, and again, meet people where they’re at as it pertains to engagement," said Cotton. "The strategies that we’ll use include community surveys, community forums that would include multi-ward sections as well as working with groups that reflect the diversity of our city."

Minneapolis Community Safety Engagement Plan

The office also plans to bring in state and national experts to weigh in.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s proposal this week calls for additional funding for the city’s Office of Violence Prevention. It includes an extra $2.5 million for a program aimed at stopping cycles of violence.

The city council committee on Thursday approved Cotton’s plan, and also voted to allow public comment on policing and public safety on Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m. to give time for people to sign up.

But others wanted to speak, immediately.

"I don’t think we should wait two more weeks to voice concern on the number one solution facing our community today," said Bill Rodriguez, a Minneapolis resident, calling into the meeting. "If the house is burning you put out the fire right now."