Study: Brooklyn Center Needs To Hire 16 More Police Officers
A labor study of the Brooklyn Center Police Department includes recommendations for the city to hire 16 new police officers.
The city of Brooklyn Center hired the National Policing Institute to analyze the police department. The agency returned with a 90-page report and numerous recommendations for improving the police department.
Brooklyn Center police and the institute presented the findings to the Brooklyn Center City Council on July 24.
Many of the recommendations involve the police department’s staffing levels. The department saw a mass exodus of officers and non-sworn police department staff in the wake of the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright in 2021.
Looming largest is the recommendation that the city employ a total of 36 police officers.
Currently, the department has 20 officers on staff, according to Brooklyn Center Police Cmdr. Tony Gruenig. The department is authorized to have up to 26 officers.
‘Emotional Exhausted’ Police Officers in Brooklyn Center
According to the study, about half of the city’s officers feel “emotional exhausted” and have considered quitting law enforcement entirely.
Another 60 percent felt a “high degree of burnout,” the report reads. “All non-sworn respondents felt emotionally exhausted by their work.”
The study also recommends hiring additional records technicians and detectives.
“Richfield and Plymouth have almost twice as [many detectives] as we have,” said Brooklyn Center City Council Member Teneshia Kragness. “And then when I go to their workload, of the offenses per detective, we’re actually doing almost twice as much cases per detective that they are doing.”
Brooklyn Center should hire two sergeants in the patrol division, said Colby Dolly, director of policing programs at the National Policing Institute.
Many of Brooklyn Center’s police officers are within their first several years on the job, according to Gruenig.
“We do have a very young staff,” he said. “They make innocent mistakes. Those supervisors are there to help alleviate those mistakes or stop them before they occur. And they need the leadership from those supervisors.”
Mayor April Graves and Council Member Dan Jerzak asked Gruenig to focus on hiring more command staff before hiring additional patrol officers.
Crime Prevention Strategy
The city does not have a coherent and comprehensive crime prevention strategy, Dolly said.
“Officers expressed a sense that crime is out control in the city and the department lacks a clear crime control strategy,” the report reads.
Graves agreed, saying the city ought to draft a documented plan to give new officers.
“I just think that there’s a need for something that’s very comprehensive,”
Gruenig called the study a “blueprint and roadmap” to improve the department.
The full results of the study are available here.