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City Council approves new site for Ward 3 Police Precinct in downtown Mpls

Aerial view of the old Ward 3 precinct building. (Courtesy of Georgia Fort)

The Minneapolis City Council’s Budget Committee has approved a new location for the Ward 3 police precinct. The new site is located downtown, next to the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The decision ends a months-long struggle to find a home for the precinct. The process was marred with controversy, including disappointment and outrage at the city’s lack of communication with the community. Earlier this week a survey showed that 44% of Ward 3 residents wished for the precinct to be housed on the original site on 3000 Minnehaha Ave. Critics said the survey failed to reflect the entire community, and didn’t capture the verbal feedback city officials received during 13 community engagement sessions.

“Under no circumstances should the City of Minneapolis rebuild its Ward 3 Precinct Police Station at the former lake and Minnehaha location located in Ward 9,” Councilmember Jason Chavez wrote in a statement. “My constituents have made that very clear.”

The precinct’s new home isn’t located in Ward 3, but in a city-owned building named Century Plaza. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that the access to the freeway will make up for the lack of a physical location in the Ward.

The City Council voted to instruct city staff to come up with a plan to put the precinct in the building, and determine how much it will cost.

The vote was passed by the Budget Committee unanimously, as Councilmember Wonsley left moments before the vote. She had proposed using $550,000 of police funds to jump-start truth and reconciliation plans that had stalled in the city, but received pushback from other members.

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