The Future of Public Safety in Minneapolis

Minneapolis is being transformed by what has taken place. More voices are being included in our city’s plan for an equitable society, many new public/private alliances are being formed, and the world is watching as we reimagine the future of public safety.

Updated: March 1, 2021

The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 led to protests around the world. It also sparked a nationwide movement calling for changes in policing and public safety.

Minneapolis is being transformed by what has taken place. More voices are being included in our city’s plan for an equitable society, many new public/private alliances are being formed, and the world is watching as we reimagine the future of public safety.

Does Minneapolis still have a police department?

Yes, the Minneapolis City Charter requires a minimum level of police staffing based on the number of residents in Minneapolis.

Will the Minneapolis Police Department be dismantled and/or disbanded?

No. In December, the Mayor of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis City Council approved a 2021 city budget that includes more than $171 million for the Minneapolis Police Department. Additional city funds will be used for a wide range of additional public safety measures.

Have any changes to public safety funding taken place?

Yes, a small portion of the 2021 Minneapolis Police Department budget (less than 5%) has been reallocated to fund or enhance funding for different public safety programs, departments and initiatives, many of which are part of the Office of Violence Prevention. Examples include:

  • Mental Health Co-Responder Program
  • Community Group Outreach and Intervention
  • Gang Violence Intervention
  • Hospital Based Intervention
  • 911 Training on assessing and responding to mental health issues and situations
  • De-escalation and restorative justice training
  • Moving all parking related calls to Traffic Control
  • Assigning non-police staff to respond to theft and property damage calls

Have any policing changes taken place?

Yes, changes implemented by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) include:

  • Requiring MPD officers to use the lowest level of force needed to safely engage a subject and to first consider all reasonable alternatives before using deadly force.
  • Banning neck restraints or choke holds for any reason.
  • Requiring any member of the MPD who observes another member of the MPD use any unauthorized use of force to immediately report the incident while still on scene to their commander or their commander’s superiors. 
  • Requiring any member of the MPD who observes another member of the MPD use any unauthorized use of force to attempt to safely intervene by verbal and physical means. 
  • Allowing only the police chief or the chief’s designee at the rank of deputy chief or above to authorize the use of crowd control weapons during protests and demonstrations.
  • Requiring the police chief to make timely discipline decisions.
  • Not allowing officers involved in critical incidents – including the use of deadly force – to review body camera footage prior to completing an initial police report. 
  • Banning unannounced entry or no-knock warrants except in extreme cases like a hostage situation, and requiring MPD officers to announce their presence and purpose prior to entry.
  • Not allowing officers to deactivate their body camera to discuss issues privately on scene while an event is still in progress.

I've seen images of destruction and damaged buildings in Minneapolis. How might that affect visitors and/or meeting and convention attendees? 

Most of the damage that occurred in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020 took place away from the Minneapolis Convention Center and away from the city’s downtown core. The two neighborhoods impacted the most saw hundreds of volunteers immediately step in to help clean up and businesses are looking to rebuild. A limited area of downtown experienced damage from an isolated incident of unrest late this summer.

As a meeting planner, if I hold my event at the Minneapolis Convention Center, what are my security options?

The Minneapolis Convention Center has an in-house security team with its command center located prominently on the main level. If an event requires additional security, the Guest Services team works with the client to review the level of security needs and determines an appropriate source.

Will I be safe when I’m in Minneapolis?

Local law enforcement works hard to ensure the safety and well-being of residents, workers and visitors to Minneapolis. In addition, MPD, Metro Transit Police and the Hennepin County Sherriff’s Department work together, as needed, with a common goal of keeping our city safe. Plus, community and business leaders throughout the city work together on multiple initiatives to help ensure a safe environment for visitors and residents. This includes Minneapolis’ Downtown Improvement District (DID) Ambassadors who help visitors with directions and information, providing roughly 89,000 pedestrian assists each year. Additionally, Minneapolis downtown partners are connected to a Safety Communications Center. It’s located in the Minneapolis Police Department’s First Precinct and focuses on rapid responses for inquiries or incidents when needed.