Harvard report on Minneapolis public safety to be released Tuesday

Harvard report on Minneapolis public safety to be released Tuesday

Harvard report on Minneapolis public safety to be released Tuesday

In May 2021, one year after the murder of George Floyd, the city of Minneapolis enlisted the help of Harvard University to come up with a comprehensive plan to transform public safety.

Dr. Antonio Oftelie, a native of Minneapolis, headed up the two-year-long study, and his report is expected to be released by Mayor Jacob Frey at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. In a summary of that report, there are five action items the city is encouraged to implement within the next 12 months.

The report recommends the city establish an executive leadership team and community advisory board, develop a multi-year implementation and financial plan, design a governance plan, set up policy and practice committees, and have a communications plan and progress dashboard.

Minneapolis City Council Member Elliott Payne is co-chair of the Health and Public Safety Committee.  Payne told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he is anxious to see the full report and start the work immediately.

“Nothing is a big deal until we decide to make it a big deal, whether that’s the [Minnesota Department of Human Rights] report, the [Department of Justice] report or Dr. Oftelie’s Report,” Payne said. “It can either sit on a shelf and become dusty or take what it is saying with weight and sincerity and really make use of what’s being recommended to us.”

Payne said he hopes the report addresses alternative policing policies such as behavioral crisis response teams, 911 dispatcher training and violence interrupters.

“Because we already know that it’s OK to send an ambulance rather than a police car when somebody gets injured,” Payne said. “We know there are other ways that people are harmed in our community that would benefit from a response that’s not just the police.”

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked Mayor Jacob Frey’s office for an interview or comment on the Harvard report, but a spokesperson in his office declined to comment until Tuesday’s news conference.