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As longtime residents of Minneapolis, we see the best opportunity our city has ever had to transform public safety — and the Police Department in particular — and we want more residents to know why we believe that.

A single administrative Office of Community Safety under Commissioner Todd Barnette's leadership is coordinating alternative response systems, including for mental health calls. Barnette is overseeing the development of infrastructure in the Neighborhood Safety Department to assess which violence prevention efforts, often called violence interrupters, are worthy of city funding and how to hold them accountable for those efforts. Barnette's experience as chief judge of Hennepin County is invaluable in that he understands the important role that the county can and should play in these efforts.

Our police chief, Brian O'Hara, has previous experience leading a police department under a consent decree. O'Hara came here with accolades for having successfully worked with department in Newark, N.J., to implement public safety reforms there. In Minneapolis now, he has the support — and pressure — of our own court-enforceable settlement agreement and a team of experienced monitors like Effective Law Enforcement for All to implement public safety reforms in our city.

O'Hara has established a separate division within the MPD dedicated solely to implementing reforms. And never have we had so many additional public safety leaders dedicated and determined to implement these reforms and change the underlying police culture. Beyond O'Hara, there's Assistant Chief Christopher Gaiters, Commander Yolanda Wilks, and new leaders of both the Civil Rights Department and Office of Police Conduct Review. We also have the new Community Commission on Police Oversight, which is still getting on its feet but is clearly emboldened to play an important role in police reform efforts.

Finally, as noted in the Star Tribune on May 20, Mayor Jacob Frey and Chief O'Hara announced that they have hired a firm to put in place an early warning system to identify police officers who have received complaints that go beyond traditionally minor complaints. This warning system can help supervisors identify officers who need intervention to correct their behavior or counsel them out of the force, something we believe would have prevented Derek Chauvin's long tenure with the MPD.

We believe that our city now — for the first time — has the forces aligned that can make necessary changes to make our city safe for all of us. We support these public safety leaders in their reform efforts and pledge to stay vigilant, both to keep them all rowing in the same direction and to push back against any slacking off in their efforts.

The League of Women Voters of Minneapolis has compiled a listing of the public safety reforms that have taken place in Minneapolis, as well as at the state level, since the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Much progress has been made in these four years, and we support the city's teams and structures that are in place to continue this work.

Catherine Shreves and John Satorius are co-chairs of Plymouth Church's Reimagining Community Safety Group.