In my June 9th E-Newsletter, I noted that protesters and officials across the nation are calling for police departments to be defunded and for the money to instead shift towards social programs. In recent weeks, I have started to receive messages from area residents who support efforts to defund and dismantle our police departments. In response, I decided to ask the following question: “Do you agree with these efforts, including legislation that would defund or dismantle our police departments?”
Over 1400 responses were received, and many individuals emailed me separately to share their concerns. The results: 125 support efforts to defund or dismantle police departments; 1307 opposed efforts to defund or dismantle police departments and 32 were undecided.
Let me say that by no means was this a scientific poll, and yes it was very simplistic. It was based on a proposal unanimously passed by the Minneapolis City Council that will disband its police department and instead invest in community-based public safety programs. The resolution states that the Council will start a year-long process of research and community engagement to discover a replacement and create a new model of public safety.
I understand why many of you were passionate in your written responses to me. Some of you indicated your disappointment in my poll and the way it was formatted. Others were disappointed that the poll question was even being asked in the first place. I understand a single polling question rarely captures those views well. But, I appreciate all of those who took the time to respond.