An already heated debate over Question 2 in upcoming Minneapolis municipal elections became more so on Wednesday, when Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo questioned the goals of the proposed charter amendment that would disband the police department and replace it with a Public Safety Department with some sworn officers and non-sworn command.
Standing in full uniform against a backdrop featuring the department's logo, Arradondo told reporters that he had never been approached for his input by the architects of so-called Question 2 and that he hadn't seen any concrete plan from the amendment's proponents, the StarTribune reports.
At this point, he said, "frankly, I would take a drawing on a napkin."
At a public appearance on the city's North Side earlier this month, he told a crowd of supporters that any attempts to decrease the department's size amid a rise in violent crime was "absolutely ridiculous." He also pointed to the derision with which the City Council met his request in 2018 for 400 more officers — a line that he repeated at Wednesday's news conference.
The chief's comments come as the department is experiencing its worst staffing crisis in years, with hundreds of officers leaving the force in the year and a half since George Floyd's death.
The department's total number of officers has dipped below 600, officials say.