With all the talk of efficiencies, eliminating city stuff like
independent boards, accountability, and unloading all that pesky
undeveloped park land that costs so much to maintain, I thought I
would float another streamlining idea: combine the Minneapolis Police
Department (Parks Police, too) and all Metropolitan county sheriffs
departments (do away with all those pesky elected Sheriffs and hire a
Metro Law Enforcement Czar) and have municipalities contract for their
law enforcement services with a new consolidated Metropolitan Police
Force formed either as a new component of the Met Council or as a
stand alone entity. Unincorporated areas of the Metro would continue
to get the same services from the Metro force as they did from the
county sheriff. Different bargaining units would correspond with
groups of peace officers fulfilling individual contracts and for the
larger group policing unincorporated areas of the Metro; they would
all deal with the Czar.
I can't say I know the history, but I think a former mayor of St. Paul
brought up the possibility of a similar notion in combining forces
with Ramsey County Sheriffs office; it didn't go over all that well,
but times are much worse now. Jurisdictional problems almost go away.
Precinct boundaries can remain or things can spread out a bit. Maybe
it's not a spoof.
Given what Carol Becker has related about bonding authority needing to
be provided by new statutes with abolition of the Board of Estimate
and Taxation, we already need to get a bit of legislation passed; I
think we should go for a whole lot of it. Let's get Jack his petty
misdemeanor graffiti and a new Metro police force as well.