Minneapolis one step closer to hiring civilian safety patrols

The Minneapolis City Council Budget Committee has approved moving $500,000 from the police budget and putting it into the Office of Violence Prevention to help pay for civilian safety patrols.

Jamil Jackson is a paid consultant with the Office of Violence Prevention and he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he’s been asked to put together a proposed plan to implement the civilian patrols.

"It would have to be multiple groups that get the money," Jackson said. "But, how the money is going to be disbursed hasn’t been decided at this point, because those are things that are still being tweaked and worked out."

Jackson said his proposal would have 100 civilians on patrol with two groups of 20 on the north and south side of Minneapolis, and one group of 20 in the downtown area.

"But those locations are not finalized yet, those are just proposals," Jackson said. "This is to hire men to engage in the community and patrol our community but also help by bringing in resources that allow these youth to have something to do other than what they are doing now."

Jackson says the civilian patrols will not be doing any police work and they will not be out in the community fighting crime. The group will not be armed, but men with permits to carry will be allowed to do so if they choose.

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"We are not going to be out there shooting things up," said Jackson. "If there is something happening and a crime is being committed we will call police and report that kind of activity."

A spokesperson for Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the chief was unavailable for comment this week and that it "would not be appropriate to comment at this time."

Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told KSTP he is open to working with anyone, but he would like to know more details about the civilian patrols.

"You know, where do we begin with the questions," Kroll asked. "What about selection criteria? Training criteria? Duties? You know, everything is a question on where do we go from here?"

Kroll said it would be ideal to have the city council layout the specific plans for the Minneapolis Police Department, but also for members of the public so they can have some input into what the civilian patrols will look like.

The full city council takes a final vote on amendments to Mayor Jacob Frey’s budget adjustments this Friday.