Wanted: Minneapolis police officers

John noted the local July 4 crime spree in “War zone Minneapolis.” Where were the police? At Alpha News Pafoua Yang reports “MPD had 80 officers to respond to 1,300 calls Monday night.” “MPD” is the Minneapolis Police Department. “Monday night” was the evening of July 4. For some reason or other, the MPD is stretched a little thin.

Today’s Star Tribune carries the Andy Mannix/Jeff Hargarten story “‘We’re in dire trouble:’ After July 4th shooting, Minneapolis braces for more gun violence.” Subhead: “Police say low staffing levels hinder their response to calls.” The Star Tribune advises that you can save 3 minutes by listening to the article with Speechify. I advise that you can save 6 minutes by skipping the story and the audio and reading the headline.

The Star Tribune is proud of its coverage of Minneapolis’s public safety crisis. Last week
Editorial Editor and Star Tribune Vice President Scott Gillespie flagged the paper’s editorial on the issue (“July 4th mayhem shows the need for the city to step up and for the state to be involved”) in his daily email. Gillespie bragged: “Long before George Floyd’s murder, the Editorial Board warned of the impact of rising crime in downtown Minneapolis and a Police Department inadequately staffed to respond, let alone prevent it.”

Gillespie omitted any consideration of the Star Tribune’s contribution to the crisis it decries. He doesn’t see any reason to ask the question we have posed repeatedly since the summer of Saint George Floyd. Who in his right mind would go to work for the Minneapolis Police Department?

Incidentally, this past Thursday Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tapped Cedric Alexander to become the city’s first community safety commissioner (overseeing the MPD and four other public safety organizations), assuming the city council approves of the arrangement. The Star Tribune characterizes Alexander as “a nationally known law enforcement veteran with expertise in psychology.”

One has to turn to the Alpha News story on Alexander’s appointment to learn that that Alexander currently serves as MSNBC’s law enforcement analyst. MSNBC’s loss is Minneapolis’s gain.

Frey hasn’t gotten around to naming a new police chief since former Chief Medaria Arradondo retired in January. The same question applies — who in his right mind would take the job? Someone will be named to take the job. Perhaps Alexander’s expertise in psychology will come in handy after all.

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