MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis poll conducted among the city’s registered voters showed that more white voters support replacing the police department in Minneapolis than black voters.
The poll conducted from Sept. 9 through Sept. 13 found that more white voters, 51 percent, support replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety, “which may include police officers and will focus on public health,” while just 42 percent of black voters support the measure, reported the Post Millennial.
This is relevant since a proposal will appear on an upcoming ballot after the Minnesota Supreme Court gave contested wording on the measure its approval, Law Officer reported.
If the measure passes, it would do away with the Minneapolis charter requirement to have a police department with a minimum level of staffing. Minneapolis would instead replace the police department with a public safety format “that employs a comprehensive public health approach.”
While males and females were evenly split on the issue, party affiliation played a major role in opinions as 55 percent of DFL/Democratic voters in the city support replacing the MPD compared to just 7 percent of Republicans. Of the Independent/Other category, 44 percent support the public safety charter amendment.
It is also noteworthy that more white voters support reducing the size of the police department than black voters, according to the poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, KARE 11 reported.
However, there wasn’t anything close to a majority among either demographic with 33 percent compared to 14 percent.
Most black voters — 75 percent – do not favor a reduction in police, while a narrow majority of white voters – 51 percent – also do not favor a reduced law enforcement presence. Nevertheless, that will occur if the ballot measure passes.
According to the poll, 49% of Minneapolis voters support replacing MPD with a new policing model that may include officers, but also focus on public health and give the city council more authority over public safety, while 41% of voters oppose the idea and 10% are undecided.
However, the ballot measure going before the voters in November includes a reduction in force under the new “Department of Public Safety” proposal. According to the poll, this is not something voters seek in greater numbers.
Overall, a majority of Minneapolis voters say that reducing the size of the city’s police force would have a negative impact on public safety. Of those surveyed, 55% said cutting down on officers would have a negative impact on the city, 20% said it would have a positive effect, 12% responded saying it would have no impact and 13% said they weren’t sure, KARE reported.
The pollsters interviewed 800 Minneapolis likely voters, according to the poll’s described methodology.
In a statement released in August, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo came out against a plan to replace the MPD with a Department of Public Safety. “If the current city charter amendment to the reporting structure passes… it would not just be confusing–it would be a wholly unbearable position for any law enforcement leader or police chief,” he said