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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 20th 2024

Encampment Safety: Is Private Security Really a Solution?

from Letter to the Editor

The vital issue of security at homeless camps in our city is finally being raised by the City Council Public Safety Committee. The Public Safety Committee is tasked with a difficult job, made more challenging through past neglect of issues. The attention of the new members of the Public Safety Committee to the difficult problems posed by homelessness is appreciated.

A proposed solution is to hire private security. Would the security at the camps be armed, and if so what would their liability be? What kind of complaint system and accountability will these private security guards be held to?

Recently a man was shot and killed in one of the Nenookaasi Camps. The threat was known by camp members and police. The police did not try to intervene or de-escalate in any way. How will using private security be better than a professionally trained MPD officer? If the MPD can’t get it right, why do we think private security is the answer?

Even considering the present state of the MPD (understaffed, rife with bias, and with no meaningful accountability) our attention must be focused on why taxpayers have to pay for private security when the MPD should be protecting and serving all Minneapolis residents.

Janet Nye

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