The Minneapolis City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to release an additional $5 million to cover police overtime, offsetting some of the cuts it made to police funding last fall.
The vote came one week after Police Chief Medaria Arradondo asked the council to release the money, saying it would help cover a small percentage of the overtime shifts needed amid an officer shortage and costs associated with the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
There was no discussion of the funding in Thursday morning's council meeting, though some council members discussed it in committee last week.
Minneapolis' debates about police funding have drawn national attention as a dramatic increase in violent crime tests the commitment of some council members who pledged to "begin the process of ending" the Police Department after Floyd's death.
The Police Department began 2020 with roughly 850 officers available to work and a $193 million budget. Following a flurry of officer retirements, resignations and PTSD claims, the city estimates it will have about 627 officers available to work at the end of this month.
Last year, after the city made across-the-board cuts to account for the pandemic's damage to the economy, Mayor Jacob Frey pitched a roughly $179 million budget for the Police Department.
The City Council moved an additional $8 million to other programs — with a caveat.
It also created a new reserve fund that would include $5 million for police overtime, if the council approved its release in the future.
Robin McPherson, the department's finance director, told council members last week that the department had spent $5.2 million on police overtime this year, and estimated it will spend $4.3 million more to cover overtime for the rest of the year.
Frey is expected to approve the additional funding as well. Last week, he encouraged council members to sign off on it, saying that while relying on overtime is "not a sustainable approach to policing," MPD needs overtime "given the deep levels of attrition the department has experienced."
The mayor is also separately asking the council to approve a plan to use roughly $4.9 million the city received in American Rescue Plan funding for police and roughly $4 million for violence prevention.
Liz Navratil • 612-673-4994