Minneapolis City Council hopes to avoid police cutsby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minneapolis city council members spent much of Wednesday's budget discussions looking for ways to avoid cuts to the police department.
Council members debated several amendments to the mayor's proposed budget that sought to cut $5 million from the police department's 2010 budget.
Police chief Tim Dolan proposed to cut nearly 50 civilian positions and eliminate the mounted patrol. But council members rejected that.
Council member Lisa Goodman, who represents a large portion of downtown, said officers on horseback do a better job of crowd control than officers on foot.
The council also approved an amendment that would provide $3 million in contingency funds to help the department buy some time to make more cuts.
However, council members are still trying to find dollars to save some of the civilian jobs on the crime-prevention staff that the chief also proposed cutting.
The council will vote on the amended 2010 budget next week.