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Minneapolis police staffing levels reach historic lows amid struggle for recruitment, retention

Some days, the Minneapolis Police Department's ranks are so thin that just four officers in a given precinct are expected to patrol wide swaths of the city during their shift.

There's often no one available to work the front desk at police stations, so residents seeking assistance with a report are greeted by a locked door. Handmade signs instruct them to dial 911 in an emergency.

Staffing shortages plague law enforcement agencies nationwide, as overall interest in the profession has plummeted amid heightened public scrutiny following a series of high-profile police killings. But the problem is particularly acute in Minneapolis, where the police force continues to hemorrhage officers faster than it can replace them.


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