MPD union leader reveals extent of city’s police shortages
“I looked at each quarter’s latest 28-day calendar and all of them are operating below their minimum levels several days a month,” Schmidt said.
In the Fourth Ward, on the north side of town, Schmidt said KSTP staff were particularly difficult. Each 10-hour shift has a minimum staffing recommendation of 10 officers, but keeping watch from the middle of 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. was probably the biggest challenge.
“In the fourth constituency, we have fallen below the minimum number of 10 agents per shift in 23 of the last 28 days planned,” Schmidt said. “And on a particular day in July, there were only four officers scheduled for the middle shift, which is quite shocking.”
Schmidt said that in the event of a serious incident, such as a shooting, the MPD has to juggle things and bring in officers from other ridings, but that leaves those ridings a bit struggling to keep up with 911 calls.
“Supervisors in this neighborhood or scene were calling or asking other cars from other neighborhoods to come over and help deal with the 911 calls that keep coming in,” Schmidt said. “But then that leaves the other quarters short because, like I said, most of our shifts are short.”
A Hennepin County judge recently ruled that the Minneapolis Police Force staffing level was in violation of its city charter, which sets a per capita formulation for a minimum number of sworn-in officers. At present, the city has 669 active officers, 61 below the minimum strength required.
KSTP has reached out to City Council President Lisa Bender and Public Health and Safety Committee Chairman Phillipe Cunningham for comment, but they have yet to respond.
A spokesperson for Mayor Jacob Frey’s office said the mayor was unavailable on Tuesday but would likely have a comment on staffing issues on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told KSTP that the police administration has no comment on the numbers at this time.