Money taken from Minneapolis police budget could go toward community safety projects

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The Minneapolis City Council’s budget committee, last week, approved cutting slightly more than $1 million from the police department budget, which is less than 1% of MPD’s $195 million overall proposed budget starting in 2023.

Of that $1 million shift, more than a half-million could go toward a Lake Street Safety Center, auto theft prevention and community safety projects.

Groups such as 21 Days of Peace, employ so-called violence interrupters who attempt to stop violence before it happens and also offer services such as housing, education and job training opportunities.

Rev. Jerry McAfee is lead pastor at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church on the city’s north side and he also runs the non-profit 21 Days of Peace.

McAfee told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his employees and volunteers have helped prevent some violent confrontations and assisted many people with social services.  McAfee also said that when his organization helped with certain crime hot spots in neighborhoods, it’s made a difference.

“We saw the crime rate go down in every area, with the worst turnaround at 18% and the highest turnaround in two areas was 100%,” said McAfee.  “One area was 68% and those numbers are kept with the Minneapolis Police Department.”

McAfee said if his group were to get funding from the city’s budget it would go a long way toward helping him attract more people and subsequently help more neighborhoods.

“And, the good thing about what we’ve learned is police and community can work together. Police and community can work together,” said McAfee.

The full city council will vote on this issue Tuesday when Mayor Jacob Frey’s $1.6 billion budget proposal for 2023 is voted on following a public hearing at city hall.