Fifteen of 25 Minneapolis police officers targeted for layoffs in December were able to return to work Jan. 1, according to a statement from the Minneapolis Police Department.
Thirteen of the officers were saved when the U.S. Department of Justice approved the city’s application to modify a federal grant it was previously awarded. Six of those officers already were serving on patrols throughout the department, and seven are from a class of 20 recruits that graduated last month.
The city’s Regulatory Services Department agreed to fund two other officers — one who will work with Regulatory Services personnel on problem properties and another who will work with Animal Contol.
"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," police Chief Tim Dolan said in a statement. "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."
Forced to make multi-million-dollar cuts to fill a budget gap caused by significant reductions in state funding, the Police Department announced the officer layoffs earlier this year in addition to the elimination of 30 civilian positions.
In the 5th Precinct, the last-minute funding saved two night-patrol officers and one new officer from the latest recruit class, Insp. Eddie Frizell said.
"I’m absolutely ecstatic," he said.
The 5th Precinct still lost one of its three civilian crime prevention specialists, Amy Lavender, who worked with Southwest’s southernmost neighborhoods. Frizell said the remaining crime prevention specialists, Tom Thompson and Chelsea Adams, would split up work in those neighborhoods.