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Minneapolis PD grapples with officer shortage, crime spike

Currently, the Minneapolis Police Department is grappling with a shortage of over 200 officers, having lost 40% of its force in the past four years

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In a recent editorial, he posed the question, “Do we expect too much from police officers?” He later told CBS News, “Well, people expect perfection every time, absolutely.”

Minneapolis Police Department

By Joanna Putman
Police1

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara recently highlighted the challenges his department faces amid a significant shortage of officers and a surge in violent crime, CBS News reported.

“I try to come out [to emergency call responses] to show the officers I am here to back you up,” O’hara stated.

Currently, the Minneapolis Police Department is grappling with a shortage of over 200 officers, having lost 40% of its force in the past four years. O’Hara described the situation as “incredible.”

“It’s not just that we lost 40% of the force, they’ve been facing the highest levels of crime and violence, in some categories, that the city has ever seen,” O’Hara said.

Minneapolis now deals with a marked increase in assaults and averages nearly three dozen shooting calls a month, necessitating some mandatory overtime for officers, according to the report.

This staffing crisis is not unique to Minneapolis but is mirrored in major cities across the U.S. For example, the Philadelphia Police Department reported being short approximately 1,170 officers, Chicago is down by more than 1,140 officers and Los Angeles by over 470, according to the report.

Despite these challenges, the department continues to recruit new officers, offering signing bonuses to attract candidates, according to the report. However, O’Hara believes the issues run deeper than financial incentives.

In a recent editorial, he posed the question, “Do we expect too much from police officers?” He later told CBS News, “Well, people expect perfection every time, absolutely.”

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