(KNSI) — Governor Tim Walz embarked on a statewide public safety tour on Wednesday to listen to residents and law enforcement concerns and tout his $300 million security spending bill. public.
The budget invests $300 million over three years in cities, counties and tribes across the state, “encouraging and supporting new ways to meet changing expectations for public safety in Minnesota communities.” The budget also invests in hiring officers who “represent the people of our state” and in reducing violent crime by providing “investigative support to local agencies.” The average city would receive about $240,000 a year for public safety.
Gov. Walz says each city should decide what crime reduction looks like for their city, whether it’s crime prevention or more officers on the streets. The budget also funds community-based crime prevention grants for probation, youth services and truancy programs, neighborhood watch, resident engagement, and elder abuse prevention.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson believes more needs to be done to keep violent offenders in jail and criticizes judges for being too lenient with violent offenders, leaving them out on the streets with little or no deposit. Anderson says it doesn’t teach them anything because there are no consequences for their actions.
Earlier this week, a bill was introduced to “recruit and retain high character police officers”. The bill would basically allow anyone from any background, as long as they have a college degree, to become a police officer. While some say the bill is meant to “educate anyone who wants to be a police officer,” co-author St. Cloud Rep. Dan Wolgamottt says it was drafted in consultation with the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. He says the proposal “would use Minnesota’s state system to provide intensive, comprehensive education and training to highly qualified college graduates and high school graduates.” Let us add that with the budget forecasts as they are with a projected surplus of $7.7 billion, it is now time to invest.
Chief Anderson says law enforcement must invest in what works and lawmakers must support programs that work.
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