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Rise. Lead. Follow.

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A model for Public Safety

Overview:

 

MPLS 50/50 encourages collaboration, power sharing and dynamic responses. Multi-disciplinary teams will help prevent group think and keep officers honest. We would extend the use of body cams to all response units.

This model avoids unnecessary bureaucratic salary burdens which divert needed resources away from the streets, while promoting accountable authority through the position of Safety Czar (actual title TBD).

The Office of Violence Prevention would be "promoted" to a "cabinet level" department outside of the Department of Health, reporting to the City Council through the Safety Czar.

This model also facilitates top to bottom integration into standard incident command structures and organization for critical incidents and disasters. Joint Response Task Forces provide flexibility in organic capacities to respond quickly on a shift-by-shift basis with emergent strategies and interventions. They can act as bolt-on units put together on the fly by 911 as needed, or deployed for longer periods of time for sustained campaigns.

Principles:

This model incorporates existing structures and training allowing for rapid deployment and development. This approach avoids needless delays and foregoes unnecessary and wasteful community surveys and review periods. We need to act quickly. We need resources on the ground and in our streets, not in City Hall, in meetings or writing e-mails. We do not need to hire more consultants or experts, we need to hire more first responders.  It is a perennial abuse of tax dollars when bureaucrats always recommend hiring more bureaucrats to solve a problem.

Our focus should be on enabling low level action and deployment of resources. Flattening out our hierarchy will create innovative and energetic environments for finding new solutions, on the ground, in the situation, every shift. 

Funding would be allocated on a sliding scale structure designed to be responsive to emergent trends and needs.

Culture Change and Accountability:

My Public Safety page lists the immediate changes we can make to enhance accountability and discipline. Discipline is the bedrock of all uniformed services. Officers give up individual reputations for the reputation of the uniform. Without discipline, the department cannot protect the reputations of the police. Police culture, by making it almost impossible to instill discipline, has resulted in a situation where everyone is punished. This seems unfair to the police, and fosters low morale and departures. 

Until command can effectively discipline individual officers on a consistent and regular basis, thereby protecting the reputation of the uniform, all officers will suffer, and the community will see all officers as the problem. This can only be expected. The police are their own worst enemy in this. By blocking discipline, they have consigned themselves to continual distrust, animosity and hostility.

Strategies:

1. Fast track pilot programs to get feet on the street. The city is or has piloted programs for alternatives to police responses for certain calls. We also have blueprints for violence prevention and intervention. We must fast forward all initiatives as quickly as possible. There is no more time for delay and deliberation as politicians move slowly, call for more meetings, hire more expensive consultants, and generally drag their feet. I will not waste time with transparent political ploys about "community" input, and then just mine those answers I already seeded the process with earlier. Everybody knows its a gimmick, and this isn't the time for gimmicks.

2. Stabilize MPD. Onboard previously authorized recruit classes. Further staffing will be determined by progress made in accountability and results, and any requests for more will be strictly tied to track records. If the department cannot demonstrate responsibility or actual change, the department doesn't get more money. Our tax dollars are not an endless slush fund for the police, or for police settlements. It is unaffordable and unsustainable. We will contract with Hennepin County Sheriff's Department for special services such as SWAT and Bomb Squad. This will allow the department to focus on Public Safety first and foremost.

3. End low-level traffic stops and deprioritize drug searching in every day police work . We spend far too much money digging around for dime bags and petty drug busts so people can get promoted. Police metrics will be revamped and reoriented towards public health and safety results.