Lakosky said it was not political, but rather a matter of public safety. Lakosky said that in some cases it takes police more than 50 to 120 minutes before officers can get to the scene. On average, it takes about 15 minutes for cases considered critical.
Lakosky said if the measure passes, it could worsen response times.
âResponse times are vital and, like I said, it doesn’t have to be a shootout, it doesn’t have to be a stab,â Lakosky said. “Can you imagine being the victim of a domestic assault and no one coming for 40, say 20, 30, 40, 50 minutes?”
Meanwhile, Lakosky said the firefighters were there to keep everyone safe. But if the scene is deemed dangerous, there’s nothing they can do until the officers make sure everything is okay.
The union president said teams were already under stress to save time because the police department was already struggling to meet national emergency response standards.
Lakosky said it all comes down to having enough staff, which the second question of the ballot could have a huge impact.
âWhat I’m asking is help us help you. Vote no on question two. And support the firefighters; let us help your families,â Lakosky said.
The coalition of community groups that lobbied for this ballot issue – Yes 4 Minneapolis – sent 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a statement, saying, in part, “The bottom line is that the service Minneapolis Fire Department has a service structure like all other labor departments in the city. This is different from the Minneapolis Police Department, which in all respects is failing, under review by the Federal Department of Justice and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights – while under the exclusive control of the mayor. â
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS expects more from Yes 4 Minneapolis later Monday morning.
Meanwhile, the public safety ballot measure has its roots in the âdefund the policeâ movement that began after George Floyd was assassinated by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin last year.
Many people 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with in Minneapolis say change is needed, but people have different ideas about what it looks like and how to get there.
âI think we’re all saying we want change,â Teto Wilson said. “I think we’re going to create more chaos by not having a systematic plan for how these changes happen.”
Wilson owns a hair salon in northern Minneapolis.
He said the answer is no substitute for the police department, especially when crime is at an all-time high.
Wilson said he believes changes need to be made with the current police department instead of drastic new changes.
Many of those who oppose the charter say there is not enough clarity on what it would mean if passed.
But the authors say it’s vague by design. There are a number of residents who say the current system is not working and something needs to be done.
“The things that work are really neighbors taking care of their neighbors,” said Hannah Pritchard, who supports the ballot issue. “What doesn’t work is, honestly, calling the police.”
Minister Janae Bates, who also supports the measure, said: âBy voting ‘yes’ on (the ballot question) two, we are enabling a true public safety system that prioritizes the needs of the city and enables the city ââto have city-wide accountability and transparent action with the police. “
In addition to the ballot question two, voters will vote on two other proposed amendments to the city’s charter on Tuesday. The mayor’s race and all city council seats will also be decided.
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