Minneapolis police chief and City Council square off over adding additional patrols

Minneapolis Police Chief, Medaria Arradondo, asked the Minneapolis City Council Committee of the Whole to approve nearly $500,000, in contingency fund money to add more patrols from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police and Minnesota State Patrol.

"The Minneapolis Police Department, our resources, are hemorrhaging, our city is bleeding and I am doing all I can to stop that bleeding," said Arradondo. "And, I am hoping you have the funds to launch a city-wide law enforcement team initiative and we can try to stop the bleeding."

Minneapolis City Council member, Steve Fletcher, told Arradondo he had trouble "wrapping his head around" the idea of adding more patrols to address a spike in violent crime without yet seeing any evidence of police reform and accountability.

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"If we do this (extra money for more patrols), it’s going to make it that much harder to find anything anybody’s looking for in the budget," said Fletcher. "Whether that’s mental health responses, or whether that’s any of the great stuff people are talking about in violence prevention.

Arradondo told council members he still supports the idea of "serious and meaningful" police reform but emphasized that must be implemented with immediate needs. He went on to say that without the extra help from other law enforcement agencies, the rise in violent crime will not easily be stopped.

"The city is experiencing unprecedented crime and Council member, Fletcher, if you have a suggestion of how to do it better, I would like to hear it," said Arradondo. "If you (Fletcher) choose, and you have every right to, if you choose to say ‘no’ to these victims of crime then please stand by that because we need more resources today, right now."

A final vote by the City Council on this proposal happens this Friday and with a 7-6 approval vote today, it would only take one City Council "yes" vote on the issue to switch to a "no" vote and the plan would be defeated.