State officers will help Minneapolis with policing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State law enforcement officers will help Minneapolis with patrols as the city deals with a police force that has seen its ranks reduced in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

The arrangement announced Wednesday by city and state officials has state troopers patrolling city streets three nights a week beginning Thursday and agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension helping local investigators.

“Right now, Minneapolis is seeing a significant rise in violent crime, while at the same time its police department is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of officers and investigators,” BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said in a statement. “The BCA is bringing state resources and expertise to help these communities to meet this urgent need.”

Minneapolis will pay the State Patrol up to $400,000 and the BCA as much as $300,000 for their services. The arrangements can be canceled at any time by either side, with 30 days’ notice, the Star Tribune reported.

Officers have continued to leave the police force in the two years since George Floyd’s murder rocked the city and led to discussions about remaking the police department.

A recent count found the MPD has about 544 officers, some 300 fewer than before Floyd’s killing. Many officers have left the force after filing claims of post-traumatic stress disorder, while some have gone to other departments in pursuit of more stability or higher pay.

Meanwhile, two of the city’s most high-profile crime categories — homicides and carjackings — are trending higher compared with the first four months of 2021. The number of carjackings rose to 164 from 146 last year, and homicides increased to 32 from 26, according to a Star Tribune database.