Minneapolis community group sits with police leaders to create roadmap for transformation – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Community members chart a course forward with the Minneapolis Police Department and the Federation of Police Officers at the table.
Members of the Unit in the Community Mediation Team (UCMT) on Wednesday presented a roadmap for transforming police culture in Minneapolis. The team is reaching out to the 44% of Minneapolis residents who voted Tuesday to dismantle the MPD in favor of a Department of Public Safety.
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The team and police representatives created a new draft 2003 MoU, which protects the human, civil and legal rights of all residents regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
“There is a common thread running through this whole document, every section, and that thread is the sanctity of human life,” said Reverend Ian Bethel of UCMT. “[The memorandum] talks about a police community relations council that has issues with teeth, mental and behavioral health and disability, workforce diversity, cultural awareness and sensitivity, duty of care in Minneapolis Police Department.
There were over 70 action points involved. The hope is to engage the community to see what is left and what will happen to a final project that mutually serves and benefits all communities.
“We were at the table while others poured money into this town and did vile things to divide us,” Bethel said. “The Unity in Community team has been at the table, worked over a year and a half since The Day After George Floyd, and we are now presenting this document to the citizens of Minneapolis.”
What is different this time around is that MPD and its union are at the table to participate in the discussion on reform.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to get together as a union with some people in the community and listen to their concerns about the police,” said the sergeant. Sherral Schmidt, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Police Officers.
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Schmidt says base officers were silent while residents of Minneapolis decided what they wanted for public safety. Now that the votes are in and the MPD remains, the talks can focus on real transformation and reform.
“We are obviously very satisfied with the outcome of the charter amendment,” Schmidt said.
The plan for the future will focus on transformation, reform, transparency, accountability and consequences with both MPD and the community.
“We all have this common goal, don’t we? We want the best officers in the state, we want to have a trusted department that the community wants to oversee in their community, ”Schmidt said.
But they can’t do it alone. The hope is that the 44% who voted against the MPD and in favor of a Ministry of Public Security will take their places at the table and join the discussion on how to move police reform forward.
“We are also concerned about the 44% who voted yes. Frankly, we all want the same thing, and this morning we are seriously reaching out to you and asking you to join us, ”Bethel said.
The draft was handed over to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, and Sgt. Schmidt.
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The UCMT team says they hope to hear from Yes 4 Minneapolis supporters to secure their seats at the discussion table.