Minneapolis Leaders Vote to Dismantle Police Department… Will Truckers Still Go?
Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis City Council made good on its promises to dismantle the local police department on Friday by voting to replace the existing law enforcement system.
In a unanimous vote, the members of the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution to replace its police department with a community-led public safety model.
It’s the latest action taken in response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
“We acknowledge that the current system is not reformable — that we would like to end the current policing system as we know it,” council member Alondra Cano said.
Members resolved to, over the next year, engage with all those in the community who are willing in an effort to craft a “transformative new model.”
In addition, a “Future of Community Safety Work Group” will be formed.
It will reportedly include staff from city departments, including the offices of violence prevention and civil rights.
Though not the same as the actions taken today by the Minneapolis City Council, the “Defund the Police” movement has quickly gained momentum in cities such as New York and Los Angeles since Floyd’s death.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced their intentions to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars budgeted for local police departments into social and community programs.
Trucking industry stakeholders are watching these developments with a keen eye to see just how far these policies go.
Two trucking industry experts with nearly 70 years of combined experience told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) this week to expect increased dangers for truckers and higher insurance costs.
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Both experts agreed that the biggest question will be if motor carriers will simply refuse to deliver to these areas.
Feedback from truckers on TNN’s social media pages has been overwhelmingly against doing so.
Josh Rahm wrote, “No carrier or driver in their right mind would ever go to a lawless city.”
Jay Yeazle said, “I wouldn’t haul anything there.”
Other commenters have fairly pointed out that defunding the police is not the same as dismantling or disbanding the police as Minneapolis leaders intend.
Some others have even suggested a better solution for truckers is defunding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the United States Department of Transportation.
This is not a new idea though.
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition has called for and continues to advocate for the defunding and replacing of the FMCSA.
Still, the notion of reducing the presence of law enforcement is giving many trucking stakeholders great pause.
“Truckers were already getting nervous about all these protests before they even started talking about defunding the police,” said Dan Doran, 2018 chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). “Everybody has a watchful eye on all these locations and all it’s going to take is just one instance for people to say, ‘No we’re not going there.’”
Will areas that defund and/or dismantle its police department lead to higher instances of what we have seen in recent days where rioters target big rigs and loot the cargo?
Only time will tell as we are all living in unprecedented times.