Fewer cops on the beat likely under new Minneapolis budget


Crime in Minneapolis is dropping, but now it appears the budget axe is dropping on the crime fighters: The City Council approved a 2010 budget on Monday that will do away with about 25 of the most junior members of the Minneapolis Police Department, including 19 recruits who are just days away from hitting the streets.

The Star Tribune reported that about 30 civilians in the department will also loose their jobs, while 27 firefighters who had been bracing for pink slips will be spared. More:

The $1.3 billion spending plan adopted Monday relies on a 7.3 percent increase in the property tax levy. But city taxes on a typical home would go up 2.2 percent.

Overall, a homeowner's bill for all taxing jurisdictions in 2010 should be close to even or fall a bit, according to the Board of Estimate and Taxation. The property tax hike by the city will be offset by a drop in school taxes, and the addition of tax base from some expiring tax-increment districts also will help.

This news comes as the police department's October data shows crime in the city is down 10.1 percent compared to the same time last year, and double-digit declines in every month of this year compared to last year. The Humphrey Institute's Eric Ostermeir suggested those figures might help Mayor R.T. Rybak in his campaign for Minnesota governor.

According to the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, MPD has 872 officers. St. Paul, by comparison, has 605.