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Minneapolis Mediation Team Aims to Accelerate Community Policing Reform – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Police Department’s transformation work received a big boost on Friday with a commitment to continue talks between the police department, the Police Federation and community members.

The Community Unity Mediation Team has been at the table with MPD to update and modify the existing Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2003.

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“This work takes time. It’s serious, it’s hard work, and we do it in the midst of pain, in the midst of trauma,” Reverend Ian Bethel said.

Since 2003, Bethel has led the charge with the Unity in Community mediation team, advocating for the implementation of community policing reform.

He and members of the youth task force say the time has come for a change.

“We are a trauma community right now. We need intensive care, we don’t have time to wait for doctors or anything, we need to get to the emergency room quickly now so that we as a community can start feeling safe and respected again,” said activist AJ Flowers. noted.

“We need something tangible now,” Bethel added. “We talked, we did our due diligence for the past two years every week, and we came up with a document.”

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The original agreement, which was signed in 2003, needs to be updated and amended. At Friday’s meeting, it was decided to move forward with updating almost 70 action points.

“We know we have work to do, and I really want to do that work, and it’s important that we do it in partnership with as many people in the community as possible,” said Acting Police Chief Amelia Huffman. .

She says she knows how important it is to improve the relationship between MPD and the community.

Both parties know that this needs to be accelerated and different from the original agreement.

“We want something that is going to be perpetual, something that even the city council will have a game in voting on so that whoever mayor or police chief we have an agreement between the community and law enforcement. order in Minneapolis, an agreement we can all live with,” Bethel said.

Two parties formed working groups on Friday to focus on use of force, recruitment and behavioral health.

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The team also asked the mayor to expedite the process at the city attorney’s office to get a working agreement the community and police can live with.