The Bemidji City Council, after hearing Mayor Jorge Prince’s State of the City Address, discussed and ultimately approved the formation of a working group as the city prepares to entertain a Police Advisory Committee.
The working group, as Police Chief Mike Mastin describes, is the step before forming the actual committee.
The discussion of the Police Advisory Committee began last summer after the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd while in police custody.
The ultimate goal of the committee would be to promote trust and transparency between law enforcement and the entire community.
Other items discussed included:
- Street renewal projects for 2021 includes the intersection of 5th Street and Minnesota Avenue. Council member Josh Peterson, who is also an active member of the Bemidji Jaycees, inquired about the Water Carnival Parade which generally uses that intersection. Engineer Sam Anderson said if parades in a conventional fashion were allowed this year, perhaps they could open the intersection temporarily as long as it was safe to do so.
- Setting a public hearing for MnDOT’s 2022 project on Highway 71. This particular public hearing will be on the proposed roundabout on the intersection of Highway 71 and Anne Street, and is set for April 5. The project would also include re-routing a portion of Hannah Avenue to line up with Minnkota Avenue.
Newly-elected council member Dan Jourdain will be sworn in during the first council meeting in March, due to a requirement that so many business days pass between the canvassing of votes, held Friday, Feb. 12, to the swearing in ceremony.