The utopian approach to policing that has been pushed by some on the political left may soon be coming to one American city.
A recent decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court means that the voters of Minneapolis will now get to decide whether or not the city will keep its police department or replace it with a “Department of Public Safety.”
Minneapolis, Minnesota, of course, is the city in which George Floyd died while in police custody. And, Floyd’s death is the incident that led to the recent push from the left for policing reforms.
This particular reform was suggested by Yes 4 Minneapolis, a group, formed in response to the incident involving Floyd, with the purpose of changing Minneapolis’s approach to policing. The reform was suggested to Minneapolis’s city council, which approved it.
As already stated, if the voters should so choose, the Minneapolis Police Department will be replaced with a Department of Public Safety. On the amendment that will be put before the voters, this is described as a “comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions” of public safety.
As part of this change, the chief of police would be replaced by a commissioner selected by the Minneapolis city council.
The change, however, would not necessarily get rid of police officers, although that’s not what they would be called. The amendment states that the Department of Public Safety “could include licensed peace officers (police officers), if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities.”
It is not immediately clear what other types of jobs would be included in this Department of Public Safety.
As a result of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision, the decision of whether or not to replace Minneapolis’s police department with a Department of Public Safety will be left up to the city’s voters.
The proposal will be placed on ballots in the form of an amendment to the city’s charter.
This will all be part of the upcoming municipal elections, which will take place on November 2nd. Early voting, though, is set to begin this week.
If the voters do go ahead and vote in favor of the proposal, it will be one of the most extreme reforms to policing that we have seen here in America.