City Council member Robin Wonsley (2nd Ward) is “confused and disturbed” by the city’s opaque process to redevelop the former Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD’s) Third Precinct site, 3000 Minnehaha Ave., which people burned down during the 2020 uprising following George Floyd’s murder.
Community engagement work about the site’s future is slated to start soon, Wonsley wrote in a constituent update sent out Friday.
“Council Members, including myself, have been given minimal information about the process. Earlier this week, Council Vice President [Linea] Palmisano made public comments with very specific information about the Mayor’s plans for re-establishing a Third Precinct building for MPD, either at the old location or at a predetermined new location. I had no prior knowledge of the claims that Council Member Palmisano made and have not received any additional information about them since.”
Remodeling the old building would cost between $12 million and $18 million, while a new building would probably be two to three times more expensive, Palmisano told KSTP.
In spring, 2022 Wonsley led efforts to allocate $100,000 for community engagement about what neighbors want at the site, she wrote.
The city had been completely absent from that conversation for two years, and community members reached out to my office frequently requesting that the corner be positively activated in some way. I followed the lead of residents to secure funds for community engagement, which formally committed the City to include the community in decision-making about the site for the first time. …
Council and the public currently lack the information needed to make any kind of informed decision about relocating the Third Precinct, including fiscal and other relevant background information. I have brought my concerns to the Interim Chief Operating Officer Heather Johnston and have made formal requests for more information and transparency about the Mayor’s plans for a potential new precinct site.City Council member Robin Wonsley
Wonsley raises questions around city use of public health funding for encampments
The city has received funding under the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which was earmarked for equitable recovery from the pandemic, “including a focus on public health, opioid interventions, rental assistance, and other areas that are still daily concerns for thousands of working class residents,” Wonsley wrote.
Wonsley is asking questions about how the city is using some of that funding to respond to encampments of unhoused residents.
“The dollars appeared to be for city-supported hygiene stations like porta-potties, handwashing stations, and sharps disposal,” she wrote.
She asked staff to clarify the protocol surrounding these contract dollars, “because there has been a lack of standardization of how and when hygiene stations are deployed to encampments.”
“As of now, it seems that the use of these funds is not actually intended for hygiene but rather for installing fencing. … I have outstanding questions about these processes and how the resources are being used.”
The City Council will discuss this issue April 11 at its Committee of the Whole meeting.
City of Minneapolis’s new Community Commission on Police Oversight will convene for first time in late April
The City of Minneapolis received more than 160 applications from people wishing to participate on the city’s new Community Commission on Police Oversight, according to the city’s website.
The commission will have 15 members: one appointed by each of the city’s 13 council members and two by the mayor. The commission is expected to hold its first meeting in late April.
The commission’s direction will be greatly determined by who gets appointed. It will have more access to information than its predecessor, the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, but final disciplinary decisions remain with the Police Chief.
The civilian panelists will review investigations of alleged police misconduct, the city’s website said. They will have access to investigatory case files and make recommendations. In cases where they conclude that misconduct occurred, they will state the range of corrective actions for the Police Chief to consider.
The Commission will conduct its business during public meetings, where residents can watch and participate.
One thought on “What’s next for MPD’s Third Precinct site, and other news”
There should be no new police headquarters for the cops who brought about the destruction of the 3rd precinct through their own disrespectful behavior toward the public. I’m not going to worry about the hurt feelings of those officers from the precinct because they have been “homeless” for a while. They should not be rewarded for their illegal behavior over the years. There are many stories out there about this precinct, and they are mostly not positive.