The Minneapolis police department was reduced to a third of its size after George Floyd’s murder.
Two years later, they are still struggling to hire more police officers, The Associated Press reported.
In 2022, only 57 people applied as recruits, down from 292 in 2019.
The Minneapolis police department is still struggling to rebuild its forces more than two years after the killing of George Floyd, The Associated Press reported.
The department has been reduced to about a third of its size after officers left, citing post-traumatic stress from the 2020 incident. Floyd’s killing came at the heels of several years of rising homicide and aggravated assault rates.
Now, city officials are still trying to convince individuals to join the force, recently holding a panel for only six attendees at the Minneapolis Police Academy.
“There’s still people who still value us,” Sgt. Vanessa Anderson told potential recruits during the panel, The AP reported. “The community still values us. I really do think that.”
The AP reported that in 2022 only 57 people applied for officer recruitment, compared to 292 in 2019. While each class of recruits at the police academy can accommodate 40 people, only six were part of the class that graduated last month.
“You can scream as loud as you want, ‘Hire more people!’ but if fewer people are applying, then it’s not going to change the outcome much,” Police spokesman Garrett Parten told The AP. “Across the country, recruitment has become an issue. There’s just fewer people that are applying for the job.”
In the summer following Floyd’s murder, racial justice protests erupted not only in Minneapolis but all across the country to change systemic issues within police departments, or to rethink their budget. Some protestors waged lawsuits against police for conduct at the protests, with the city of Minneapolis recently awarding more than $700,000 to resolve for separate settlements for cases of unreasonable and excessive force, The Star Tribune reported.
Floyd’s murder sowed distrust between the police and communities of color, particularly Black residents, The AP reported. Cyrus Collins, 36, who identifies as mixed race, was one of the attendees at the Minneapolis Police Academy panel.
Collins, who has a face tattoo of an obscenity against police told The AP he wanted to join to send a message.
“I don’t want people of color to be against cops,” Collins said. “What other career would be doper to send that message than to be a Minneapolis police officer?”
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