The Minneapolis suburb where police recently killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright has approved a package of proposals meant to begin making changes to public safety and violence prevention in the city.
The Brooklyn Center City Council voted 4-1 on Saturday to pass a resolution called the Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety & Violence Prevention Act. Mayor Mike Elliott introduced the resolution last week, naming it after two men who abruptly died at the hands of police ― one of whom was killed just last month.
“This will transform public safety in our city, honoring two young men who were robbed of their futures,” Elliott tweeted. “This is just the first step in a long road ahead ― but that is work that we as a city are ready to do with our community. There will be lots of questions to answer, lots of learning, and lots of opportunity for the community to be at the center of this change.”
The resolution does not make any immediate sweeping changes, but rather gives the city a road map to overhaul its policing system. It creates an oversight office that would monitor the city’s police, fire, and two new city departments ― Traffic Enforcement and Community Response.
The Traffic Enforcement Department will be made of unarmed civilians responsible for non-moving traffic violations, while the Community Response Department will consist of trained medical, social work, and mental health professionals for incidents where a resident is experiencing medical, mental health or other behavioral or social need.
After passing the package of proposals, the City Council also committed to creating a committee mostly made up of residents who have been arrested, detained or incarcerated before. The committee would review city safety data and make recommendations on how to modify or launch programs to improve community safety and prevent violence. This will allow such a committee to look at criminal codes and recommend decriminalizing or completely repealing certain offenses, as well as have a say in the police’s response to protests and the police union’s contract with the city.