Minneapolis will spend more than $6 million to hire more police officers as hundreds of cops decided to quit or extend medical leave following George Floyd’s death.
There are only 638 police officers available to work, which is around 200 less than usual, the Minneapolis Department said.
The City Council approved the extra funding the police requested on Friday.
The city anticipates that it will have more than 674 cops available at the end of the year, the Star Tribune reported.
George Floyd died on May 25 last year after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck even when he said that he could not breathe.
His death sparked nationwide protests and Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other cops were charged with aiding and abetting.
While some protests call to dismantle the police department after the death of Floyd, many residents have asked the city to add more cops due to an increase in violent crimes and longer response times.
Days before the City Council unanimously voted, Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo and Mayor Jacob Frey vowed to update the application process for officer recruits to include questions on whether they have degrees in criminology, psychology, social work, or counseling, have lived in Minneapolis, and whether they participate or volunteer in programs such as the Police Activities League.
Deputy Police Chief Amelia Huffman also said that they hope the changes “will help us to really feel confident that we are recruiting the kinds of candidates we want right from the beginning.”
Minneapolis was plagued by violent crimes last year, with burglary, arson, aggravated assault, robbery and homicide all up on 2020’s figures. Police had also recorded 532 gunshot victims.
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