The Minneapolis City Auditor is taking a closer look at the off-duty and part-time work schedules of Minneapolis Police Department officers.
Minneapolis City Council Member Linea Palmisano told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she supports the audit of the department’s part-time workload, especially after information which came to light during the trial of former officer Mohammed Noor.
Noor shot and killed Justin Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017 after he already worked a seven-hour shift at a private business before starting his shift.
Palmisano said she is not interested in elminating the part-time jobs of officers, but hopes the audit will show how effective the program works to make sure the officers are not overworked and tired for either their full-time or part-time jobs.
“This is about making sure the wellness of our officers is protected,” Palmisano said. “They have to make life-and-death decisions in very stressful situations and all we want to see is how well are we helping them with the tools they need to stay safe and keep others safe.”
Right now, Palmisano said he only restrictions she is aware of is a 64-hour work week cap for officers, but not any restrictions on how much they can work those hours each day.
“You just want to make sure they are not overworking themselves on certain days and that they have the rest they need in between shifts to ensure they can go home from their jobs unharmed,” said Palmisano.
Larry Ranallo owns the Moose Bar in northeast Minneapolis and he told KSTP he hires Minneapolis police officers, at his own expense, every weekend.
“They give people reassurance they are in a safe establishment and they like seeing them here,” Ranallo said. “That would not have been the case maybe 10 or 15 years ago.”
But Ranallo said he is concerned if the city puts tighter controls on the part-time jobs for officers, he and other small business owners would face the possibility of paying the city’s overtime rate of time-and-a-half for those officers.
“That is something I would not be able to afford, and I am sure quite a few other small business owners would not be able to afford,” Ranallo said.
The department and the Minneapolis Police Federation will comment on the audit when it is finished.