The Minneapolis City Council has unanimously green-lighted a city charter amendment that removes the requirement for the city to have a police department.
A draft of the amendment proposes the police department be replaced with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, which would oversee public safety with a public health-oriented approach.
“It’s a structural change that allows us to invest in a holistic approach to safety using evidence-based strategies, using the brilliance and expertise of our staff from all different disciplines with all different kinds of experience,” said City Council President Lisa Bender.
It’s the first step toward the city council’s goal of dismantling the police department, which was spurred after the killing of George Floyd.
The amendment calls for a department director who has “non-law enforcement experience in community safety services” such as public health or restorative justice. It allows a law enforcement services division, but it will be supervised by the new department.
The amendment has to be reviewed by a policy committee and the city’s Charter Commission. If it survives those steps, it’ll be on the city’s general election ballot in November.
Written by LeeAnne Lowry for Newsy.