Jeremy Schroeder, Ward 11 City Council Member

Jeremy schroeder

jeremy.schroeder@minneapolismn.gov

(612) 673-2211

Ward 11,

At our City Council meeting this morning, my colleagues and I unanimously approved a resolution that includes several next steps for our public safety work in Minneapolis. You can read the full text of this morning’s resolution here.

This resolution does not make immediate changes to how our public safety system operates, but it does officially commit us to a number of inclusive, community-driven next steps to shape something better. While I have been in conversation with many, many Ward 11 residents over the previous weeks about public safety, this marks the start of the official process to bring together all community members and ideas as we move forward.

The resolution specifically includes following actions:

  • A yearlong process of community engagement, research, and structural change to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city
  • Engaging with every willing community member in Minneapolis while centering the voices of stakeholders historically marginalized or under-served by our existing system in order to identify together what safety looks like for everyone
  • Working with local and national leaders on transformative justice, informed by the needs of every block in our city
  • Forming a Future of Community Safety Work Group, which will include staff from the Office of Violence Prevention, the Department of Civil Rights, the City Coordinator’s Office, in coordination with the 911 Working Group, the Division of Race and Equity, Neighborhood and Community Relations and other relevant departments

Most immediately, the Future of Community Safety Work Group will report back to the City Council this summer with a set of preliminary recommendations for a robust community engagement process on the future of our public safety system. Going forward, the Work Group will give regular updates to the City Council and the public. We expect to hear about:

  • Exploration of intermediate policy changes, investments, and partnerships that center a public health approach to community safety and alternatives to policing
  • Research and engagement to inform the potential creation of a new City Department of Community Safety, including analysis of existing models, programs, and practices that could be applied in Minneapolis
  • Recommendations and strategies for transitioning work of the Minneapolis Police Department where possible to alternative service providers, including other City departments, agencies, and/or community partners
  • Recommendations for additional community safety strategies that build upon existing work across the City enterprise that approaches public safety through a public health lens

Also at this morning’s Council meeting, several of my colleagues signaled their interest in pursuing a ballot measure that would allow voters this November to decide whether to create a new Department of Community Safety in our City Charter. This measure will move through our Charter amendment process, including an opportunity for public comment. In keeping with our required process and timelines, the proposed language for this measure will be shared at our next City Council meeting on Friday, June 26. This is merely the beginning of a multifaceted process to consider adding this measure to the ballot – it is not a done deal and there will be much discussion.

I am looking forward to learning more from community as our process progresses, particularly when it comes time for public comment, and will continue to support transparency along the way. Ultimately, I have not yet taken an official position on this proposal – and I will not do so until proposed language is finalized and I have heard from Ward 11 residents – but in general I am supportive of exploring a ballot measure that would allow voters to be heard.

As I’ve said all along, I believe there is a place for focused and accountable law enforcement in our community. We know that the MPD is not currently meeting that standard. As taxpayer-funded City employees, this is unacceptable. To be clear, our ongoing work to improve the public safety system in Minneapolis will take time. The MPD remains responsible for public safety today. This will be true as we work through the processes outlined in the resolution passed this morning. We will continue to need folks who can respond to extreme or violent situations, but it is my hope that we can reduce our reliance on armed officers who – while necessary in some cases – are not best-suited to constructively respond to many calls (like mental health crises, reported low-level offenses, and other incidents). In any new system, there will be a voice on the other end of the 911 line to help. Communities will not be left to fend for themselves, but rather supported in their safety.

It’s important to remember that we are not starting from scratch. The City Council in past budgets has already funded the Office of Violence Prevention, which has seen successes. We will closely examine other cities’ experiences with violence interruption programs and non-police first responder models to help us determine what’s best for Minneapolis. And when I say “us,” I mean us. In adopting the resolution put forward today, my colleagues and I made clear we will not commit to any plan or program – let alone system-level change – without expansive input from members of our community.

Thank you for joining me in this work. There is room for all of us and all our perspectives as we make long-overdue and necessary improvements.

In solidarity and community,

Jeremy

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

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