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Last week the Minnesota Supreme Court reaffirmed what we in Minneapolis already know: Our city needs more police officers.

Whether talking to business owners on Lake Street, residents on the North Side or activists outside my home, I've been consistent in my message. We need officers, and we need them to reflect the values of our city.

One thing has become clear through court orders and pending state and federal investigations that span multiple administrations — rebuilding our Police Department and strengthening community trust go hand-in-hand. Progress is underway for both.

Amid all of the politics and legal back-and-forth, we've experienced a historic number of officers leaving the MPD and a decrease in new applicants despite strong recruitment efforts. And Minneapolis is not alone in this challenge. Across the nation, law enforcement agencies have seen a similar decline in applicants and an increase in officers leaving the ranks.

Our city needs to offset these trends through a sustained and community-backed approach to recruiting and retaining new officers.

I've been pushing an aggressive plan for recruitment and retention to rebuild our officer ranks as well as create community trust in the MPD. That commitment has been cemented through policy reforms and centered in my budget proposals.

But that work has too often been muddled by politics.

Rather than describe each instance in detail, I'll simply say this — both proper recruitment of community-oriented officers and the kind of comprehensive reform our city demands will require adequate funding and unified support from city leaders. We need to both pay officers properly for their good work and hold them accountable when trust is broken.

Major police departments in every corner of the country are mobilizing around officer recruitment campaigns. Here's how we're taking our recruitment and retention work further in Minneapolis:

Hiring and retention bonuses and wage increases: Recently, we worked with the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, and the City Council approved a combined 8.5% wage increase for 2020 to 2022. This included $7,000 payments to current officers and new officers. We will continue this effort in the next round of contract negotiations.

Field training officer (FTO) program improvements: With greater oversight and higher service-record standards for which officers may serve as a FTO, the MPD program now offers more consistency and better quality for officers in training. These changes align with both police academy curriculum and community expectations.

Community-to-workforce pipeline: A community-based pathway is being developed by the MPD to bring on 20 paid internship positions for Minneapolis high school students to assist the department with community engagement. The interns can afterward apply for Community Service Office positions, which cover college tuition and police licensing requirements for MPD cadets.

Dedicated American Rescue Plan Act funding: Last month, the City Council approved my $7 million proposal for recruitment, retention and hiring support as part of our final Rescue Plan allocations. A portion of these resources will be dedicated to the MPD.

Boosted officer health and wellness initiatives: A request-for-proposal process is underway to find a vendor to provide trauma-informed psychological services to MPD officers. Additionally, the MPD will soon hire a new health and wellness manager.

Increased training for mid-level supervisors: The MPD has worked with Human Resources and other departments to develop more extensive training for mid-level supervisors. Sergeants, lieutenants and appointed staff members will attend nationally recognized command schools for consistent leadership development.

Most important, we have an opportunity now to restructure our local government for the first time in over 100 years. We are strategically integrating our public safety systems so that our police, fire, 911, emergency management and neighborhood safety departments are all working together and collaboratively toward a common goal. And a new commissioner of community safety will ensure the changes we make now will last for generations.

While we need to put our funding and resources toward initiatives like those listed above, there is another crucial priority that we need to address and solve — community-police relations.

Community trust is the most valuable commodity in modern policing and in building an effective, equitable public safety system. Over the past two years, we've moved forward on a litany of reforms, invested in data-driven training rooted in procedural justice, and have improved the MPD discipline matrix to enhance accountability and continue shifting police culture. By elevating our standards, we are setting out not just to rebuild the Police Department in sheer numbers, but to do so in a way that recognizes where the city has previously fallen short and where we need to make changes.

There's no simple solution for the challenges we're facing. But I believe in this city. By confronting the work ahead with a disciplined, honest approach, Minneapolis can and will play a leading role in reshaping policing for the better.

Jacob Frey is the mayor of Minneapolis.