Laid off Minneapolis cops re-hired

First they had a job. Then they didn't. Now 15 Minneapolis cops have been hired yet again--Happy Holidays!

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Police Chief Tim Dolan announced this afternoon that 15 officers who got lay-off notices won't be laid off after all. Thirteen officers are being re-hired with federal stimulus money doled out from the U.S. Department of Justice. Two more officers will be paid for with city money. The cops will be back at work as of Jan. 1

Six of the officers were already in the city's patrol division, the other seven just graduated from the police academy last week. The two officers funded by the city will work on animal control and problem properties.

"Winning this grant shows that even in challenging budget times and despite ongoing budget crises at the State, we are doing everything in Minneapolis we can to put cops on the street and keep them there," said Rybak, via press release. "We're grateful to the Obama administration and their economic-recovery plan for lending a hand."

The police chief said, also via press release, that he was pleased. "The Minneapolis Police Department has been awaiting this decision and I am pleased that we can alleviate the stress of this difficult time for the families of these officers," Dolan said. "The department will continue to look for other funding with the goal of rehiring the other officers as well. Our collective thoughts go out to the employees in all City departments who have lost their jobs during this difficult time."

And Don Samuels, the council member who chairs the Public Safety Committee, focused on holiday cheer. "For a city whose primary function is public safety, this is the best Christmas gift we could receive," Samuels said.

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