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‘We Need Deep And Structural Change’: Mayor Frey Vows To Continue Work Reforming Policing

3November 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has won a second term, and will serve for another four years. Frey’s message was to reform policing, while keeping the existing police department.

On Tuesday night, the Minneapolis ballot question on removing the police department as a requirement from the city charter failed. So the question Wednesday was what’s Frey’s plan for changing public safety, and how can he get it done?

READ MORE: Minneapolis Election: Jacob Frey Re-Elected As Mayor

Last summer, protestors shouted down Frey after he refused to commit to abolishing the police department, calling him a “fraud.” But after the sunset over Minneapolis Tuesday night, it was clear the city’s police department is here stay.

By Wednesday, with another four years in city hall secured, Frey vowed to get to work.

“We need deep and structural change to policing in America. At the same time, we need police officers to make sure that they are working directly with community to keep us safe,” Frey said. “The work will start in the immediacy.”

READ MORE: Minneapolis City Council President Files Ethics Complaint Following Police Chief’s Press Conference On Public Safety Ballot Question

Frey says his public safety approach includes hiring community-oriented officers, investing more in programs and services beyond policing, and integrating all public safety work, including police and social and mental health services. But he declined to say that would be under one department, like a department of public safety proposed in the ballot question.

“I didn’t think that was workable and, clearly, the majority of our city agreed,” Frey said. “But now it’s an opportunity, yes, to integrate the approach. I don’t want to prescribe exactly what it will look like yet, but we were going to be rolling out in conjunction with a whole lot of people in the coming weeks and months.”

Frey enters his new term with more than half the Minneapolis City Council being new members, and he’ll to work with them to get a lot of these policies through.

“I’m very hopeful that with this new council we will get to that work in a collaborative fashion,” he said.

MORE NEWS: Mayor Frey Faces Minneapolis Voters With Future Of Policing At Top Of Mind

 

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