Minneapolis residents can soon expect to see more community groups patrolling city neighborhoods and offering "healing circles" as the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin edges closer to an end.
The city received 17 applications from organizations that wanted to help ease tensions amid the first trial in George Floyd's death. Sasha Cotton, director of the city's Office of Violence Prevention, said they ultimately chose to partner with seven of them. The programs will cost a combined $1 million.
"We believe that community-drive strategies are a part of public safety," Cotton said during a news conference Thursday morning.
Some groups will be patrolling various parts of the city, trying to connect people with social services, calm conflicts before they escalate into violence, and pass along residents' concerns to city leaders.
"In no way do we see these patrols or our work as replacing the police," Cotton said, encouraging people to call 911 for emergencies that require an immediate response from police, firefighters or medics.
Cotton said some organizations also plan to hold "healing circles," events that allow them to help people who are reliving trauma.
Many of the groups will ramp up their work "within the next week," Cotton said.
The groups receiving funding are A Mother's Love; Center for Multicultural Mediation; Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI); Corcoran Neighborhood Organization and T.O.U.C.H. Outreach; C.E.O. (Change Equals Opportunity); Restoration Inc., and We Push for Peace.