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Majority Of Longfellow Neighbors Say They Want The MPD 3rd Precinct To Be Reimagined As Something Completely New

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - When officers abandoned the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct on May 28, 2020, three days after George Floyd was murdered, it was set on fire.

Two years later, it remains abandoned, burned and barricaded.

In a community conversation session held last week, Longfellow neighbors were asked if they'd like to see the Third Precinct rebuilt as another Minneapolis police station.

Seventy-five percent of neighbors said no, while 25% said yes.

The survey stated that of the 75% of who answered "no," their reasoning was because it would glorify the history that happened there. Also, they stated it would further perpetuate the PTSD that comes from that day two years ago.

"It's such a painful wound over there," said Ingrid Rasmussen, the lead pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in the Longfellow neighborhood, holding back tears. "That building has sat completely still for 2 years. It's been surrounded by barbed wire."

Rasmussen also lives in Longfellow. She was part of 75% of neighbors who voted "no" to bringing police back to the Third Precinct site.

"When I think about the communal trauma that's housed at that site, it's hard to imagine a way forward," said Rasmussen.

The survey stated the 25% who answered "yes" to bringing back police officers to the site believe it's the most cost-effective choice.

"The building itself is relatively centrally located in this precinct, we do need services nearby," said Anne Jones, a homeowner in Longfellow who is part of the 25% of neighbors who voted "yes." She points out that the Third Precinct is the largest precinct geographically, and needs its own department of public safety as crime rises in the area and response times grow longer.

However, Jones says she doesn't want policing in the precinct to go back to what it once was.

"I think we could reintroduce public safety to this community in a way that could be positive and constructive," said Jones.

If it's not going to be a police precinct again, neighbors suggested making the space a jobs and financial training center, affordable housing, or held as public land.

The city of Minneapolis says their plans are still up in the air on what the future of the Third Precinct will be, but they say community feedback is essential and they hope to collaborate with the Longfellow neighbors.

The Longfellow Community Council (LCC) organized the feedback on the Third Precinct. They sent the survey results to the mayor, city council, and city planning departments.

If people want to get involved in outreach efforts, you can contact LCC directly by email or phone at info@longfellow.org or 612-722-4529.

People can also donate to LCC to help them create grant opportunities for residents and businesses throughout the community to help with rebuilding efforts.

To review the full LCC survey findings of the future of the Third Precinct, click here.

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