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Minneapolis City Council approves resolution calling for reduced defense spending

After a week filled with budget negotiations and the swearing in of the new police chief, there wasn’t much new work left for the Minneapolis City Council to do at its regular Friday meeting.

So, they tackled a big issue: whether to ask the federal government to cut back on war spending and keep those dollars at home.

“It’s such a shame to see billions and billions of dollars going for military efforts when it could be better used here creating jobs and housing,” said Council Member Cam Gordon, who labeled the military spending “ridiculous.”

Gordon is the chief author of a council resolution calling for a change in the focus of the federal spending, moving it away military and back to local communities.

St. Paul has passed a similar resolution, and Duluth and Des Moines are expected to follow with similar resolutions.

“There is no better day than Pearl Harbor Day to voice a very loud call for peace,” said Council Member Betsy Hodges, who chairs the Ways and Means/Budget Committee. “There is no better week than when the Council is grappling with its budget to talk about the high cost at home for such astronomical defense spending.”

Minneapolis has seen a 30 percent cut in federal Community Development Block Grants since 2002, according to figures from the Minneapolis Finance Department. Prior to 2002, Minneapolis received $16.8 million in those grants, compared with the current $10.7 million.

“The United States will spend more in Afghanistan next year than the entire food stamp budget for the country — and way more than the federal government will contribute toward education,” said Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer of the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternative Project, which joined the City Council in support of the resolution.

The council approved the resolution 12-0, with Council Member Kevin Reich not in the room at the time.  

Harteau names management team

Police Chief Janutionee Harteau’s new leadership team includes one of her top priorities — a new division that will focus on police training, mentorship and professional development.

Inspector Lucy Gerold will head the new Leadership and Organization Development Division, which will focus on leadership training, employee engagement and professional development from the date of hire through an officer’s career. She has 36 years of service in the department most recently in the 3rd Precinct, which is south of downtown and east of 35W.

Travis Glampe will be deputy chief of professional standards. He has been with the department for 12 years, most recently in charge of the Internal Affairs Unit, which focuses on the integrity of employees.

The new assistant chief, Harteau’s previous job, will be Matthew Clark, an 11-year department veteran who most recently has been a commander of the 5th Precinct, in the city’s southwest corner..

The deputy chief of patrol will be Eddie Frizell, also an 11-year veteran, who has been commanding the 1st Precinct, which is downtown Minneapolis. Frizell was deployed to Iraq as a commander with the Minnesota National Guard’s 94th Cavalry.

The deputy chief of investigations will be Kristin Arneson, a 26-year department veteran. She has served as a homicide investigator and as a commander in the 5th Precinct. Since May, she has been deputy chief of the Patrol Bureau.

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