Brooklyn Center has tapped the senior policy aide for former Minneapolis City Council member Steve Fletcher to head its efforts to reform public safety.
David Zaffrann began work in the north metro suburb last week with the prime duty to implement the Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety & Violence Prevention Act passed by the City Council last year.
"We had a long robust search and interview process. David rose to the top," Mayor Mike Elliott said during a Jan. 10 City Council meeting. "David comes with a lot of experience in the work we are doing here."
The City Council passed a series of reforms to remake its police department after Wright and Dimock-Heisler, two Black men, died during encounters with Brooklyn Center police.
They include using social workers and other trained professionals to respond to medical, mental health and social needs calls that don't require police. The act also prohibits police from making arrests for low-level offenses and requires the city to use unarmed civilians to handle minor traffic violations. The reforms also would establish a new city department to oversee public safety.
The City also will create a Community Safety and Violence Prevention Committee to review and make recommendations regarding police response to protests, review collective bargaining agreements between the city and the police department, and create a civilian oversight committee. Committee members will include residents who have been detained by Brooklyn Center police, according to the resolution.
The city last month approved $80,000 for Zaffrann's position.
Before moving to Brooklyn Center, Zaffrann had worked for the past four years as a senior policy aide for Fletcher, who lost his Ward 3 City Council seat to Michael Rainville in the November election. Zaffrann worked to fund and implement the new Office of Violence Prevention in Minneapolis as well as behavior crisis response teams that launched last month. He previously worked as a health care program manager at TakeAction Minnesota and communications manager for the SEIU Local 284 union, according to his LinkedIn profile.
"David comes with a lot of experience in the work we are doing here," Elliott said.