The Docket: lawmakers debate bill to help rising crime rates

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 5:06 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) - Minnesota lawmakers are working to address rising crime rates.

On Thursday, the House Public Safety Panel approved a $151 million bill proposing innovative solutions to fight rising crime rates.

Part of that money would be used for public safety programs focusing on partnering police with community-based crime-fighting groups.

The bill also appropriates money for body cameras and camera video storage, grants to address the opioid epidemic and more.

“But the overall goal and vision of this bill is to make sure that we provide Minnesotans with the resources that they need to have them build the public safety framework that they need to make sure that all Minnesotans are safe,” said bill sponsor Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL - New Hope).

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified for the bill on Thursday.

“There’s really a holistic approach to community safety. As we have developed our approach to the Department of Public Safety examining this is looking at that prevention, intervention and enforcement as a holistic approach to community safety,” said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans.

The bill would also create a Public Safety Innovation Board in the Office of Justice Programs.

“This bill makes significant investments not only in community partners throughout Minnesota but also into law enforcement and local units of government, which allows communities to best decide how they need to address situations,” said Kate Weeks with the organization.

The bill passed 11-8 and now moves onto the House Ways and Means Committee.

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