A ballot amendment would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety.
TWIN CITIES, MN — 2nd Congressional District Representative Angie Craig has come out with a statement saying she does not support a ballot amendment that would dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.
Last week, the Minneapolis City Council approved a ballot question that proposes to change the city’s charter.
The ballot question, which will appear on Minneapolis ballots for the Nov. 8 election, asks voters if they want to replace the police department with a “Department of Public Safety” controlled directly by the city.
The question on the ballot will read:
“Department of Public Safety
Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to strike and replace the Police Department with a Department of Public Safety which could include licensed peace officers (police officers), if necessary, with administrative authority to be consistent with other city departments to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety?”
Minneapolis voters will respond with a simple “Yes” or “No” on the ballot.
Craig voiced her opposition in a news release Tuesday.
“There is much shared consensus around many police reforms across our communities and much work to do before all of our communities feel safe for everyone,” she said. “However, I am strongly opposed to the Minneapolis Ballot Initiative, which I believe would jeopardize public safety and diminish accountability. The Yes 4 Minneapolis referendum is shortsighted, misguided and likely to harm the very communities that it seeks to protect.”
“Furthermore, the passage of an amendment that could lead to the dismissal of Chief Medaria Arradondo at a time when his sound, trusted leadership is needed more than ever is simply unimaginable,” Craig continued. “Given the gravity of this situation and the implications that it could have on our great state and region, I feel a responsibility to speak out against this initiative, which would create confusion and uncertainty around public safety in the largest city in our state – while potentially undermining the safety and security of our communities.”
The news release also noted that Craig has worked to promote accountability in policing and voted in favor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. However, Craig said she opposes defunding or eliminating local police departments and has voted to increase funding to them. She also said she is working with several departments in her district to secure federal grants to increase hiring and improve training programs.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz also publicly opposed the ballot amendment.