Minneapolis survey: Downtown residents more satisfied with police chief than City Council

The lack of security in downtown was ranked the top safety concern among respondents.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo talks with protesters at the scene of George Floyd's death in South Minneapolis. (Chad Davis/Flickr)

A survey released Tuesday shows that more than 60% of downtown Minneapolis residents have considered moving “due to public safety concerns.”

Another 64% said they feel “much less safe” than they did a year ago, according to a survey conducted by the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association.

The poll was conducted from Dec. 22 to Feb. 9 and surveyed a total of 1,129 downtown residents, 68% of whom said they have friends or relatives “who are now unwilling to visit” because of safety concerns.

The lack of security in downtown was ranked the top safety concern among respondents, which has resulted in 61% of residents seeking entertainment opportunities outside the city.

Public safety concerns have also impacted how residents are commuting, with 65% saying they are walking less, 55% using Metro Transit less, 45% avoiding rideshare options, and 32% biking or scootering less. Conversely, 43% of residents reported using their personal cars more often.

The survey found that downtown residents are most satisfied with Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo’s response to the public safety crisis and least satisfied with the City Council.

Nearly 75% of respondents said the mayor, not the City Council, should be “responsible for managing the Minneapolis Police Department.”

“We asked residents to consider 13 different calls currently responded to by law enforcement and asked whether police should respond alone, as a team with a non-police employee (social worker, mental health professional, etc.) or with a non-police employee alone. When given these choices of responders, just homelessness (55%) was considered by most as appropriate for a non-police employee solo response,” a summary of the survey states.

A combined team was considered most appropriate for calls regarding mental health crises (60%) and drug overdoses (53%).

“Of the other ten types of calls, most residents favored an MPD only response by an average of 83%,” says the summary. “Not only do downtowners view additional staffing as positive but have a wide range of response situations for which they believe MPD is best suited as primary responder.”