Minneapolis is rated among America’s most dangerous cities. The rising crime rate hardly aligns with our reputation of being ‘Minnesota nice’. Alarming as our crime rates are, Minneapolis’ city council appears to remain undisturbed. Given opportunities to enhance the police force, Twin Cities officials continue not to take action.
As of this March, Minneapolis’ city council decided not to increase police funding with a federal grant. This prohibits the growth and resources Minneapolis’ police officers urgently need. Four council members including Steve Fletcher voted against enhancing the department of police. Fletcher has been an outspoken opponent to a stronger police force. In 2019, Fletcher stated he would only endorse a larger police force if it met the “public safety and racial equity goals of the city”.
It’s hard to conceive how enhancing a police department in need of aid would detract from public safety. Citizens depend on rapid response times and accountability from the police in times of need. Our officers serve to protect and keep peace in our communities. Given our high violent crime rating, widespread police support is of paramount importance.
In 2020, council member Fletcher argued that “adding officers would only heighten existing racial disparities in vehicle stops”. The city council appears to be more concerned with hypothetical discrimination than the alarming murder and crime the city already faces. Hypothetical prejudices within the department can be put to rest. However, crimes cannot be prevented and victims cannot be helped if police forces are limited.
Public safety must be of top priority to all government officials and politicians. It should be unquestioned and nonpartisan that city leaders would take initiative to improve the safety of citizens. Instead, leaders like Fletcher prevent Minneapolis’ police from receiving adequate support and choose to focus on identity politics.
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