MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called an emergency city council vote Friday afternoon for the council to reconsider its vote against bonuses for all Minneapolis police officers.
The Minneapolis Police Department has lost more than 300 officers since 2018.
Last week, Police Chief Brian O’Hara and Frey announced an agreement for $15,000 recruitment bonuses and $18,000 retention bonuses.
The council voted to not even consider their plan and it left the police chief beside himself.
“We are at such a critical point. This is really beyond words,” O’Hara said.
One reason why it’s so difficult to rebuild MPD’s ranks: New numbers from a statewide police union shows the city of Blaine is number one in starting pay. Minneapolis is number 18 in starting pay.
New cops in Blaine make about $93,000 a year. In Minneapolis, they make about $71,000 a year.
“You can’t play politics with public safety. You have too many people dying,” O’Hara said.
On top of recruiting cops, keeping them is even harder. Minneapolis ranks 21st for paying veteran officers.
Number one is Inver Grove Heights, which pays its top officers $112,000 a year. Minneapolis pays its top officers $103,000 a year.
It’s a lot less pay for working in a much bigger city with a lot more crime—it’s hard for O’Hara to comprehend.
“You have too many victims of violent crime and one of the lowest staffed police department of any city in America,” O’Hara said.
The Minneapolis pay bonuses would be paid over a three-year period.
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