Minneapolis police chief warns of changes if Mayor Frey’s $14M budget cut goes through

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on Thursday warned that significant changes to the city’s police budget could impact response efforts, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. 

Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council released a budget plan for fiscal year 2021 on Sept. 22 that includes a $14 million cut to the city’s police department’s funding. 

“It’s really something I would rather not do,” Arradondo told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, saying that a potential $14 million budget cut could impact the department’s proactive police work. 


In a Sept. 10 research paper, Paul Cassell, a professor at S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, pointed to a shift away from proactive policing measures amid civil unrest in the U.S. as one of the main reasons behind surges in violence in major cities, which he has dubbed the “Minneapolis effect.”

Cassell notes in his research paper that “reduced proactive policing (sometimes referred to in the academic literature ‘de-policing’) is the most logical explanation for the recent homicide spikes” in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Detroit.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

In Frey’s budget address, he says a goal of the city’s 2021 budget plan includes “reorganization” of the police department.

“This week I met with the heads of the City’s Charter Departments and shared exceedingly clear expectations that they spend the next six to nine months reorganizing their departments to best and most efficiently deliver core City services. … And to be clear, the Minneapolis Police Department is expected to serve as a full partner in those reorganization efforts,” he wrote.

He added that reorganization “means looking closely at instances that do and don’t require a police response and realizing efficiencies for sworn personnel as we’re able.”

Arradondo laid out the ways in which budget cuts would impact the police department in a Thursday presentation, the Star Tribune reported, including a 146-person reduction in full-time employees, including officers and other workers.


Remaining employees will be forced to work overtime as a result, which will create a “human and financial cost” on the department, Arradondo said, according to the outlet.

Council Members Steve Fletcher and Lisa Goodman told the Star Tribune that he is concerned about police department budget cuts.

“I’m concerned that we are cutting, but then at the same time, also making ourselves less effective for the money,” Fletcher said.

Goodman said she does not feel the cuts are “taking into account the crime and safety issues we have generally and what I’m hearing from my own constituents,” adding that she has heard from business owners whose employees and customers are afraid of crime in parts of the city where they are located.

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