This coverage is made possible by a grant from The Saint Paul Foundation.

Rehires will boost Minneapolis police ranks by 12

Twelve former community service officers laid off last year by the Minneapolis Police Department will be rehired and promoted.

Community service officers are typically part-time, non-sworn staff and frequently college students studying for a career in law enforcement.

Money for the rehiring comes from $5,814,263 that was budgeted but not spent in 2011. Of that total, $485,000 has been set aside to rehire and promote the 12 officers. They will attend a 16-week Police Academy and join the department as full-time, sworn officers.

“We’re looking at a group that is 70 percent people of color — which is really good for us,” said Deputy Police Chief Scott Gerlicher, following Monday’s vote by the City Council’s Ways and Means/Budget Committee.

Gerlicher said that area police departments have not been hiring for the past few years but that recent retirements have opened up jobs. The former community service officers, he said, are getting a lot of attention from other communities.

“This is a good opportunity for us,” said Gerlicher, noting that all of the former CSOs now have completed their college education.

The hiring and promotions will increase department staffing from 839 sworn officers to 851, two fewer than last October.

Consultant pool

The establishment of a pool of architectural consultants could save as much as six months’ time on construction and repair projects at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Target Center, according to Jeff Johnson, executive director of the convention center.

Three firms have been selected from the 49 applicants. Six of the firms were asked to make presentations, and three Minneapolis companies were selected.

They are M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, Miller Dunwiddie Architecture and HGA/Populous. They will provide architectural, engineering and design service.

Routine repair and construction at the two facilities averages about $17 million a year for 40 projects. Creation of the consultants’ pool will save time because the city will not have to seek and evaluate separate bids for each job.

Fees paid to the firms will be limited to $2.5 million over three years. Typically, professional services account for 10 percent of the total cost of a construction or repair project, according to a report by the facilities staff.

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