Minneapolis Exploring Residency Incentives For Police Officers

September 01, 2017 06:19 PM

City leaders in Minneapolis are trying to find ways to give police officers incentives to live in the city limits.

"We know right now that there are very, very few officers that live and then work in the city," said Councilman Jacob Frey, who introduced a staff direction Thursday for city staff to explore policy options.


State law prevents cities from requiring police to reside in the city where they work, but Frey and others on the council want to look into ways to reward officers who choose to do so.

"We can be working with landlords to find ways to find abatement in rent," Frey said.

Councilwoman Linea Palmisano, who represents Ward 13, said the conversation has made a resurgence among her constituents following the shooting death of Justine Damond. Damond was shot and killed in July by a Minneapolis police officer.

"The community feels strongly that more police living in our city would help police-citizen interactions," Palmisano said. "They feel that living in our city would mean for more familiarity and more comfort with places where police work happens."

While the idea has value for community members, some in law enforcement say there are also downsides.

Retired police chief Paul Schnell said law enforcement families often want to live in a different community from where their loved one works.

"It's not just you, it's your family that can face scrutiny as well," Schnell said. "It can provide a great relief to be able to go home and disengage from the work and from the environment."

The staff direction, unanimously approved by the City Council, states policy ideas are to be presented to the Public Safety, Civil Rights & Emergency Management Committee no later than October 31.

Police Officer Residency Requirements in Other Cities

Dallas: The Texas Constitution prohibits a residency requirement for municipal employees.

Chicago: Requires police be a resident of the city of Chicago.

Denver: No residency requirement.

Milwaukee: Police must live within 15 mile of their jurisdictional boundaries.

Kansas City: Officers must live in the city within 12 months of employment


Kirsten Swanson

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