(Courtesy of Georgia Fort)
On Wednesday morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey asked the City Council to approve a location for the city’s Third Precinct police station, just a few blocks from its old location.
Frey is eyeing the currently vacant lot at 2600 Minnehaha Avenue S, and he rationalized the decision by saying the land is located within the third precinct, and is along a major traffic corridor. One issue remains, however.The land is currently undeveloped, and Frey is asking for $26 million from the City Council to fund the construction of a new facility. In 2017, former councilmember Abdi Warsame proposed this site as the location for a new mall for Somali business owners, backed by the mayor. The City Council asked for a feasibility study, but further action was never taken.
“I envision piloting a comprehensive safety center at 2600 Minnehaha. The future vision makes sense because it's the direction our overall body of safety work is moving,” Frey wrote in a statement. “I am proposing a vision that we could unite around, moving forward together.”
That mayor said that the city does not have the money or time for other choices, besides two other options that have been shut down by the City Council, including a co-habitat for the third precinct with the first precinct at Century Plaza. The City Council shut down that idea because of its $25 million price tag.
However, the proposal may lead to more friction with the City Council. The 2600 Minnehaha Avenue location was already denied consideration by the City Council after the city held its Truth and Reconciliation process, which aimed to address disparities in public safety, last spring.
“Mayor Frey is proposing exactly the thing that Third Precinct residents said they did not want and without doing any of the work that residents explicitly named as a prerequisite for any future conversation,” Ward 2 Councilmember Robin Wonsley said. Wonsley’s ward includes Frey’s proposed location for the police station.
Frey has asked the council to make a decision by Oct. 17 at their committee meeting.