Campus Reform | UMN prof opposes school hiring police 'in the city of George Floyd Uprising'

UMN prof opposes school hiring police 'in the city of George Floyd Uprising'

An English professor at the University of Minnesota tweeted his objection to the school hiring more police officers when many schools are scaling back on officers.

The professor told 'Campus Reform' that he is 'disappointed' with the university's decision to hire more police.

A professor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is pushing back against the school’s decision to hire more police officers. 

Nate Mills, a professor of English, criticized the school in a tweet saying “In consistency with the city of Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota has decided, in the city of the George Floyd Uprising and continued racist police violence, that it too needs *more* police officers.” 

The July tweet came in response to an email that the university sent out to all students, faculty, and staff. It stated that the university’s police department will be beginning the hiring process for three new officers to replace previous ones who had retired. The addition of the new officers will bring the university’s total number to 61. 

On July 20, UMN had previously announced plans to hire the officers as well as a full-time social worker to “provide alternative resources for certain cases.” 

[RELATED: UNC Black Student Movement demands termination of police chief for 'assaulting' protestors]

Mills believes that hiring more officers is a mistake. “I’m disappointed that the university is expanding its police department rather than investing in other means of community safety,” he told Campus Reform in an email. 

The new hires are the result of an uptick in crime in Minneapolis. A shooting in the Dinkytown area in June left five people injured and caused concern among parents of UMN students. According to CBS 14there will now be at least seven security kiosks placed in the area which will help students contact the University of Minnesota campus police.

One parent stated in an interview with local station KARE 11 that many parents are worried about the safety of their children. 

“The thing that was most upsetting was that it’s a lot of out-of-state parents too that are bringing their kids here, and that have a bad taste in their mouth about Minneapolis,” Jennifer French, parent of a sophomore at the University of Minnesota said. “I feel like if we can get a hold of what’s going on on campus and everyone knows that their children are safe, that reflects better on our state in our cities.” 

While crime statistics provided by the university’s police department show that violent crime is actually slightly down - the number decreased from 125 in January to May of 2020 to 151 in the same period of this year - the Minneapolis Police jurisdiction found that violent crimes in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus rose from 40 incidents this time last year to 96 this year, according to the local CBS News station.

[RELATED: Campus police departments in US provide crucial student programs, support to communities]

Not all schools, however, are in favor of UMN’s position. Schools in several states across the country, including California, Michigan, Connecticut, and Illinois, have all called for the reform or defunding of police. In April, the University of California System, along with representatives from San Francisco State University and Peralta Community College District in the Bay Area, met virtually in April to discuss how policing on each campus could be reformed. 

In September 2020, University of Michigan graduate student instructors demanded that half of the campus police department's budget be redistributed toward other programs. 

According to CBS Chicago, Northwestern University,in Illinois, saw a violent protest in November 2020 between students in favor of defunding the police and police officers. The event began peacefully, but became violent as the night went on, with protestors throwing rocks and bricks at officers as they marched.