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Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates: Public Safety

Mike Winter

This is an extraordinarily complex question that deserves careful thought and is so important to the heart of our city. I have a vision that involves fully staffing the MPD and providing reforms on how we train officers, as well as pushing for more police officers who are on the force to live within the boundaries of Minneapolis. I think a collaboration between city officials, the police force, and trained mental health and social workers, would allow us to approach situations from a de-escalation standpoint. Minneapolis police officers will be more approachable by reintroducing beat cops, bicycles, and horseback.   I would also like to explore starting JR Cadet Academies in our high schools, so our kids can explore policing as a career and form relationships with other officers.

Sheila Nezhad

Public safety is my area of expertise. As mayor I am going to invest the most in safety, and that starts with our youth. I have organized hundreds of residents to get involved in our city’s budget process, leading to the creation of the Office of Violence Prevention and our first Mobile Mental Health team. I have a degree in economics and I was one of the lead organizers on the People’s Budget, a roadmap to building safety beyond policing. 

Safe communities start with making sure everyone has a home, enough food, and kids have safe places to play, learn and grow. And when emergencies or harm happens, we deserve safe options to call for help. I helped write the Yes4Minneapolis Amendment, and have a strong plan for its implementation. As Mayor, I will budget to keep fully funded 911 & 311 dispatch and response. I think 888 public safety staff is a great number, and under my leadership we’re going to diversity staff to fit the needs of calls: more mental health workers, more harm reduction providers, more youth outreach works, more gun violence prevention specialists, and survivor-led, survivor-designed services for those who have experienced sexual and domestic violence.

We need hyper-local, community-led programming, and that’s why I will push for $10M of participatory budgeting. I will also push for a census-style community engagement program on public safety services so that the voices of every one of you are included in shaping the new direction of public safety in Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd.

Find more on our website: www.sheilaforthepeople.com/policy/safety

Clint Conner

Clint’s position on Public Safety is clear and strong. He wants Safe Streets, Safe Streets, Safe Streets. You can access his 3 main platforms on our website at https://clintconner2021.com

His Safe Streets Message:

The safety and well-being of every Minneapolitan and every visitor to our city – no matter who they are – is my top priority as mayor.

We need the Minneapolis Police Department to help keep us safe, and we need a mayor who will make the police department better. We need a leader who will work every day to restore faith and trust in the department. We need a leader who knows that this work will be an ongoing process that requires partnership and buy-in from individuals and communities across our city.

I have heard some people make the excuse that the mayor lacks the power to change how our police force operates. That is just plain wrong. Our City Charter vests all authority for the establishment, maintenance, appointment, removal, discipline, control, and supervision of the police force in the mayor, subject to certain limitations.

There is no time for nibbling around the edges with words on paper. Our force is down nearly 200 officers. We need a mayor who will immediately reset the narrative so that our police know their service is appreciated.

As the leader of the police force, I will roll up my sleeves, dig in, and create an environment in which our best civil servants succeed. I will do this side-by-side with Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, the best chief of police in the country for dealing with the issues before us.

At the same time, we need a mayor who will hold our police to a high level of professionalism and accountability, who will not tolerate systemic racism, and who will uproot and expose problems for the community to see.

We need a mayor who does not tolerate bullies, whether they are on the street or in the police force. I have been standing up to bullies my entire life, from the bully who sent me to the emergency room in middle school to the bully who came to my neighborhood in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder armed with knives and a hammer. With strong leadership we will stand up to them together.

As mayor, I am committed to:

Bolstering the Minneapolis Police Department. Together, we will:

  • Reset the narrative about our good police by sharing their stories with the public so our officers know their service is appreciated and so our community understands their sacrifice and dedication to safety.
  • Identify and promote the best civil servants within the force – those who believe in the beauty of multiculturalism and our city – and create an environment in which they thrive.
  • Work with Chief Arradondo and the MPD community to find creative ways to incentivize and recruit candidates who embody the values we share as Minneapolitans.

Improving policing from the ground up. Together, we will:

  • Focus on building an unprecedented level of community-centered programs and relationships.
  • Ensure that our force follows recognized, researched-based best practices.
  • Change our approach to policing from an offensive mentality to a proactive, service-based mentality.
  • Allocate resources based on specialization and community-identified needs.

Evolving our police force. Together, we will:

  • Involve mental health and other professionals trained in de-escalation in all appropriate situations.
  • Expand new candidate evaluations and pre-screenings to identify unsuitable candidates before we invest time and resources in their training.
  • Mandate regular counseling for all officers to remove the stigma and maintain the health and readiness of our department.
  • Develop new, community-centric law enforcement standards and practices to improve efficiencies and reduce crime.

Providing an unprecedented level of transparency about police practices. Together, we will:

  • Communicate frequently and regularly with Minneapolis residents about current efforts and plans.
  • Bring detrimental practices and mindsets to light so they can be appropriately understood and addressed.
  • Use data analysis to track results, identify weaknesses, and propose holistic solutions.

With my leadership and bold action, we can make this plan a reality. Together as one, we will get it done.