Minneapolis to vote on replacing police department this November

Minneapolis voters will vote this November on a charter amendment that will ask whether or not the city should replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety that "employs a comprehensive public health approach."

The Minneapolis City Council voted 12-1 on Friday to approve the language of the ballot question. Councilmember Lisa Goodman was the only "no" vote.

Minneapolis Public Safety ballot question

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to strike and replace the Police Department with a Department of Public Safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach, and which would include licensed peace officers (police officers) if necessary to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety, with the general nature of the amendments being briefly indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot? Yes _______ No _______

What will Mayor Frey do?

According to the city clerk, the city charter requires that the resolution language be submitted to Mayor Frey for his consideration. The mayor has 5 days, not including Sunday, to decide whether to approve or veto the resolution, or to allow it to become effective without his signature. 

The resolution must be returned to the clerk’s office no later than close of business on Thursday, July 29. If the Mayor approves or allows it to become effective without signature, the clerk’s office arranges legal publication and transmits the approved language to the Hennepin County Auditor to be placed on the ballot. The deadline for submitting ballot questions for this year’s municipal general election is Friday, Aug. 20.

"Mayor Frey maintains that giving the Minneapolis City Council control over public safety work would mark a major setback for accountability and good governance," said a statement from the mayor’s office. "The mayor will not be signing the measure, but appreciates the careful work and thorough analysis done by City staff to prepare fair and accurate language for voters to consider this fall."