In mid-December, the Minneapolis City Council voted overwhelmingly to adopt the mayor’s recommended $1.4 billion budget for 2008. Included in the package is $200 million for public safety programs, an attempt Mayor R.T. Rybak called, in a press release, a “common sense” way to address crime and public safety.
“This budget, as we have for the last three years, makes significant investments in public safety — far more than any other part of city government,” Rybak said.
The 2008 budget includes funding for 18 more sworn law enforcement officers, bringing force levels up to where they were six years ago.
Also in the $200 million public safety budget breakdown:
• $300,000 to add four additional 911 operators;
• $150,000 for community micro grants to stop gang-related graffiti;
• $100,000 for a Juvenile Curfew and Truancy Resource Center in City Hall; and
• $75,000 to expand Restorative Justice programs.
The 2008 budget includes $11 million in economic development funding and more than double the City Bridge Repair and Rehabilitation spending from the previous year. (The city claims the increase was actually discussed before the 35W bridge collapse.)