The City Council voted today to advance a proposed ballot measure that would ask Minneapolis voters to amend the City Charter to create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention and remove the Police Department as a charter department.

The proposal has been referred to the Minneapolis Charter Commission for its meeting 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 8 and the City Council’s Policy & Government Oversight Committee for its meeting 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9. Under state law, the Charter Commission has at least 60 days to complete its review and submit its recommendation to the City Council.

The Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention would have responsibility for “public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach,” according to the proposed charter amendment. As a charter department, the director would be nominated by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. The director would have non-law enforcement experience in community safety services, including but not limited to public health and/or restorative justice approaches.

The ordinance provides that the City may maintain a division of law enforcement services composed of licensed peace officers subject to the supervision of the Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.

The statutory deadline for submitting questions on the Nov. 3 general election ballot is Friday, Aug. 21. If approved by voters, the changes would become effective May 1, 2021.

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