Minneapolis City Council approves Minnehaha site for 3rd Police Precinct
The Minneapolis City Council approved 2633 Minnehaha Ave. as a site for the police department’s new 3rd Precinct on Thursday.
The cost of buying the property and converting it into a precinct facility will cost around $14 million.
“Very nice. We’re glad we have it, we’re happy,” declares Nazah Mohamed, who lives in the area.
The new site sits just blocks from the old precinct, which was burned and ransacked in 2020 during the unrest following the murder of George Floyd.
“Bringing back a precinct is how we begin to build trust,” City Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw said during more than an hour of debate Thursday.
The council voted 8-5 in favor of the new site.
It’s unclear what will happen to the old site at this point, but city leaders say the new location will be more than a physical space for police officers.
“This whole vision around making that precinct into something more than just a police precinct is something that every single one of us is behind,” Mayor Jacob Frey told reporters.
Community Safety Commissioner Todd Barnette and others are calling the new facility a Community Safety Center.
“The vision is there,” Barnette told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS during an interview Wednesday. “Too many times we as leaders go out and say, ‘This is what you need.’ We haven’t talked to the residents there.”
Council Member Jamal Osman says he voted yes with the caveat that the site would include city services.
“This is going to be a welcoming place for all communities,” he noted. “We’d like to see pickup services in there. We want to see divergence services for youth, a mental health response team.”
Osman says the additional services will cost between $7 million and $8.5 million.
The city and residents are sharing other potential ideas, including job counseling, a substance abuse clinic, a city help desk, a food shelf and recreation spaces.
DonEsther Anderson, CEO of A Mother’s Love Initiative, a Minneapolis family support group, hopes the new precinct will be a reimagined model that will help the community.
“You cannot do policing without the community, and you cannot do community without police,” she says. “That includes social workers, mental health workers and city boots on the ground. Also, city and community navigators to help the community navigate through the systems.”
Outside the new site, David Chase, who says he struggled with addiction for seven years, believes additional services are needed.
“Counseling would be a good thing and maybe drug rehab,” he says. “There’s a lot of addicted meth people around and stuff, and I was one of them for quite a while. I finally got off of it.”
None of the ideas about added services are set in stone.
A spokesperson for Barnette says the city is working on planning community meetings to get input from residents.
Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara says he’s hopeful the new precinct will house services that address the causes of repeat crimes and victimization.
The city hopes to move in within a year of buying the property.
Cindy Solo says she’s excited about the council vote and the plans to try something different.
“Maybe health services, an employment center for people, maybe a day care center,” she says. “I think it’s a great idea to have a police station there. To have it more community-centered would be great.”