On Thursday (Dec. 10), the Minneapolis City Council voted to approve budget cuts for the local police department for 2021.
According to ABC News, although the budget will be decreased, the number of police officers on the force will not be reduced. Instead, the city will have the ability to adjust staffing capacity in the future.
The decision comes just seven months after George Floyd was killed at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. His death sparked nationwide protests and reignited the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and systemic racism. Multiple protesters called for the government to “defund the police.”
About $400,000 of the new approved $1.5 billion budget will go to the Minneapolis Forward Community Now Coalition and $1.1 million will go towards funding for the Minneapolis Forward Rebuild Resilient initiative, which supports economic recovery.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey initially wanted the number of police officers reduced, but the council voted against it. “Today’s vote reflects our commitment to a both-and approach to public safety in this defining moment for our city,” Frey said in a statement. “My colleagues were right to leave the targeted staffing level unchanged from 888 and continue moving forward with our shared priorities. The additional funding for new public safety solutions will also allow the City to continue upscaling important mental health, non-police response and social service components in our emergency response system.”
The new budget will get rid of $19 million from the mayor’s $179 million policing budget, which includes about $8 million in direct cuts to the police department. Some of the funds will be redirected to the Office of Crime Prevention and $11 million will be placed into a reserve account.
“We all share a deep and abiding reverence for the role our local government plays in service of the people of our city. And today, there are good reasons to be optimistic about the future in Minneapolis,” the mayor said.