The U.S. Department of Justice is awarding the City of Minneapolis a $1.2 million grant to help combat gun violence. These funds will make it possible to add 10 sworn officers to the Minneapolis Police Department.
“Minneapolis has made a deliberate and ongoing commitment to end gun violence in every area of our city,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “The awarding of this grant from the Department of Justice is a testament to the success of efforts already underway under the leadership of Chief Arradondo, City staff and with public-private partnerships in our communities. The addition of these 10 new officers will ensure that those successes will not only continue, but accelerate.”
“Trust, accountability and professional service are the three pillars that strengthen our department, and this grant will make those pillars even stronger,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo of the Minneapolis Police Department. “The additional complement of 10 peace officers will help advance MPD’s procedural justice in service to the community.”
“This federal funding goes a long way toward improving public safety, which is the top priority of our City,” said Council Member Blong Yang, chair of the City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Emergency Management committee. “No amount of gun violence is acceptable, particularly with our youth. These additional officers will make it possible to address that problem more effectively.”
Minneapolis is one of 179 nationwide recipients to receive funding through the Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program. The program provides funding to local law enforcement agencies so they can address specific crime problems through a variety of community policing strategies.
Of 26 applicants in Minnesota, Minneapolis and the Upper Sioux Indian Community were the only two awarded the grant. Minneapolis’ application also received one of the highest scores from the Justice Department out of all applications.
The grant money will be used by the City as part of its ongoing effort to decrease gun violence, particularly among youth. Since 2006, Minneapolis has addressed youth violence as a public health problem. The award will help fund the addition of 10 sworn officers to MPD for three years. These officers will support the City’s ongoing efforts, in particular the Group Violence Intervention strategy that focuses on preventing gun and gang violence in the most affected neighborhoods in Minneapolis.
There is no national standard to measure gun violence, and the City of Minneapolis has pioneered efforts to do that. At the direction of Mayor Hodges, MPD has improved its capacity to account for and analyze gun violence, providing monthly statistics on its victims. Through this accounting, police have determined that the number of gunshot wound victims in Minneapolis is down 19.37 percent from this point in 2016. This federal grant will help maintain downward trend in the coming years.