The Minnesota Senate fast-tracked a piece of its $65 million law enforcement recruitment and retention package on Monday, passing a proposal to spend $1 million on a marketing campaign to promote police work as a profession.

The idea was met with pushback from some Democrats, who argued it was insensitive to move the legislation through so quickly after the police shooting death of 22-year-old Amir Locke in Minneapolis. Republicans say it's a top workforce priority with violent crime on the rise.

"Police officers have always trudged along and done this hard and dangerous work because they were serving a community that appreciated their service," said Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, who sponsored the legislation. "But they question what they're doing, and so many of them have left the occupation and there's not a pipeline of new recruits to be filling those roles."

The vote was a microcosm of the broader public safety debate at the Minnesota Capitol this year, as lawmakers try to balance calls for police accountability with efforts to combat a rise in violent crime in the state.

"We need to change the narrative of what we're talking about; it's not anti or pro. It's not a zero-sum game," said Senate Leader Melisa López Franzen, DFL-Edina. "It's about good police and crime prevention strategies."

The proposal would require the Department of Public Safety to launch a $1 million public service campaign to promote peace officers in the state and recruit more into the profession. Republicans also added $1 million in one-time funding to a program to promote law enforcement as a second career.

It's part of a broader package Republicans are advancing this session that includes $10,000 signing bonuses for some officers and other aid to get more people into law enforcement, which has seen a decline in its ranks over the last several years. St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell recently urged Mayor Melvin Carter to raise officer wages or risk losing members to other Minnesota agencies.

The Senate passed the bill on a 51-15 vote after nearly two hours of debate, with some Democrats joining Republicans in voting yes.

"It is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Let us not let the perfect step in the way of the good," said Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester. "This is a good bill and it moves in a good direction to help encourage recruitment of new police officers. That doesn't mean it is the end all."

Democrats proposed amending the bill to drop the advertising campaign, arguing it was the wrong time after the death of Locke, who was shot by Minneapolis police during a no-knock search warrant operation earlier this month.

They proposed instead to spend $2 million on a state program to recruit police officers, including people of color and from underrepresented groups. That move was voted down.

"How do we make our communities safer? This $1 million for [a marketing campaign] is not a wise investment and it's grossly insensitive at this time," said Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, who offered the change. "This bill doesn't take money from police recruitment."