R.T. Rybak's budget would cut five crime specialists

Categories: Police

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The budget proposal would cut five officers who help prevent crime before it happens.
Mayor R.T. Rybak's proposed $4.4 million reduction in growth to the police department is stirring up some concerns in southwest Minneapolis.

Community members are upset that the proposed budget would cut five of the department's 17 crime prevention specialists. These are the officers who supplement the beat cops by working with residents, businesses, and neighborhood organizations to prevent crimes before they happen.

"I think it would be a disaster from a public safety standpoint," says Mark Hinds, executive director of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association.

Since 2010, the police department has made 22 layoffs, according to city data, but 14 have been hired back. Of those rehires, 13 are contingent on grant money that expires next year.

Rybak's 2012 budget proposal would cut a total of 24 positions in the Minneapolis police department, says mayor spokesman John Stiles. In addition to the prevention specialists, that breaks down to two civilian and 17 sworn positions.

If all goes according to plan, the civilian and sworn cuts will be achieved through attrition, meaning the crime specialists will be the only layoffs, says Stiles. City Councilmembers have expressed concern over the crime specialist cuts, says Stiles, and there has been talk of saving at least one of the positions.

At this point, that's only talk.

"The mayor likes the program, believe me," says Stiles. "We know the council likes the program, too. There are Councilmembers who have said, 'We need to look at this.' We haven't heard anything concrete yet."

The City Council will vote on the finalized budget in December. In the meantime, Hinds in particular has reason to be concerned. If the budget does go through as planned, the precinct that covers his neighborhood would lose two of the crime specialists.

"I think that cutting them is going to make the city less safe," he says.

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4 comments
Markie Dayton
Markie Dayton

Are the remaining people being given "raises"? How about 5% cut on pay and benefits across the board. Why is the "City Bicycle coordinator" being retained? How many other "political" positions are being retained?

I think we need to take all the money from the "Rockefeller" heirs that reside in Minnesota to make up the budget deficits. Then send them packing to NY to live in the park camp! The Ex wife of Dayton is a good place to start with.  

Sparky
Sparky

The city already has plenty of crime specialists.  Unfortunately, they're on the payroll of the northside gangs.........

Johnny
Johnny

And in the meantime, Rybak has funded multiple paper-pushing $100k+ positions such as 'city bicycle coordinator'.

People need to look at every new or upgraded position the city has put in place the past three years and ask themselves "do we need these positions at the expense of the police and fire departments".

jp
jp

maybe he should sell his water fountains to keep them employed.  that guy is a fucking genius.  get your priorities staraight r.t.

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