This past summer had many historical and heavy moments that have changed our nation's future in ways we could have never expected. Last year began with huge anticipation of our so thought "roaring 20's," which certainly were roaring but with civil unrest and not Gatsby-themed parties. One of the most impactful moments was the events that took place surrounding the life and death of George Floyd and how that changed the image of police officers everywhere. People began gathering by the thousands to protest, riot, and change the image of police from heroes to villains even going as far as proclaiming to defund and abolish them.
Many saw it coming but the plan to defund the police has backfired. Even when masses of people were proclaiming their hate, officers stayed valiant and loyal with the people's best interests as their top priority. As of last Friday, according to Fox News, the City Council of Minneapolis has unanimously voted to provide $6.4 million in additional funds to a pre-existing funding request. Considering the damage inflicted on the station and the trauma that officers were forced to endure during the riots, there was a need for more funding. The department of Minneapolis was left with a shortage of officers because so many had been severely injured and in the hospital for an extended amount of time or had quit due to constant unrest. There were at one point only 638 officers who were available and capable of working, which is still approximately 200 fewer officers than needed to be considered fully staffed.
Following the unrest, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has taken action to update the application process for future, and potential police recruits to include questions about "whether they have lived in Minneapolis, have degrees in criminology, social work, psychology or counseling, and whether they volunteer or participate in programs such as the Police Activities League." In addition to this, three City Council members have proposed replacing the police department with a public safety department instead that would include law enforcement along with other services such as mental health and social services. Yes 4 Minneapolis is a coalition of local community groups that are collecting signatures in an attempt to get a similar proposal on the November ballot.
These actions prove the integrity of our law enforcement officers, which is continued to be unrecognized by thousands is ever-present. The department, city, and officers are staying true to their promise to protect the community and keep it safe by taking these considerations into account and giving back to the people an alternative that will continue to help them in the future. Hopefully, these efforts will reverse the hearts of those who protest once again and cause them to realize that officers are not an enemy but instead dutiful keepers and servants of our community.