2nd Precinct PAC: August meeting notes

The meeting was called to order at 6:10, with 17 in attendance.

A bit of history: To many of us, 311,  the portal to most non-emergency city services, seems like it’s been around forever.  Actually it took until 2003 before technology advanced enough that 311 was even possible.    Before 2003, Minneapolis had more than 20 call centers, but no way to link them.  Coordination was impossible.  Once the mayor and city council decided to move forward, a new telecom platform was installed, and the program began.  It’s still evolving.

Our speaker was Leah Skjefte who is the 311 Program Aide who takes care of community engagement and keeps the office running smoothly.

Ms. Skjefte began by listing  the current 311 call center data:  hours have expanded so we now have staff taking calls  M-F 7AM – 7PM, S/S 8AM to 4:30PM.  All other hours staff out in the field check incoming messages left by the public.    311 now has language prompts to handle calls coming from our diverse city.  There are now 25 agents including 6 agents who work from home (which is the backup plan in case the main office can’t be used for some reason)  The center also has 3 supervisors and 3 part time analysis who also run reports for other city offices..

311 agents field some 360,000 calls a year as well as 40,000 email reports and requests.  All calls are recorded and kept for 6 months.  Complaints are kept for 7 years.  It’s reassuring to hear that about 70% of the calls are people seeking knowledge, not people with complaints or problems.  (“How can I find …?”)  Texting will soon be added as a means of communication with 311 agents.

Good news:  Minneapolis information records and databases are being brought online.  Open Data Portal is already on the city website and live.  Soon the 311 knowledge base (KB) will be open to the public and accessible from the website.  Citizens will be able to search and find the documents the agents are using to answer incoming questions.

Calls and complaints are seasonal and pretty predictable:  In winters people are concerned about icy or unshoveled sidewalks; in the summer  people report tall grass and weeds.  There are even predictable “Cute” events:  a big surge every spring and summer is calls about ducklings that need to be rescued from storm sewers.  (They take off the grate, put on their waders, step down and reach for the ducklings.)

The difference between 911 and 311 is:  If a person is in danger or a crime is in progress, always call 911 immediately.

The biggest groups of calls are vandalism, landlord issues, graffiti, potholes, abandoned vehicle, reports, and a very special program called “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” which supports military members who are finding it difficult to transition back to civilian life.   Clearly, the 311 agents can’t actually offer social services, but staff is able to start the ball rolling to get these people access to the several resources they need and deserve.  There’s a little more about the program here:  http://www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org/minneapolis.html
Police Reports with 311 – Vandalism:  If you find your car was damaged overnight, and the damage is less than $5000, 311 can handle it.  You’ll still have the case number you need to file an insurance report.   In every case, the agents at 311 will break a call down to see if you need MPD or not.  Everyone in  Traffic Control has an iPad and they have the “nearest officer respond” rule.

Landlord issues:  These should often start with a 311 call or email.  The agents will walk you through the steps but if you want city response/action for your problem, you must file a complaint.  If there is no complaint, the city can’t act.

Graffiti and pothole complaints: these are good for mobile apps because  you can easily  send a picture.

Reports of abandoned vehicles:  only about 5% really are abandoned.  Towed vehicles are held for 15 days in the city impound lot; after that, the vehicles can be auctioned, but Ms. Skjefte quickly added that the Impound Lot is willing to work with a person who is trying to get his car back.  Be aware that storage fees are $18 each day, after the cost of the tow.

STATE OF THE PRECINCT: Inspector Loining announced staff shifts are continuing in the MPD:  John Delmonico will be moving to the 4th Precinct.  Jack Kelly will be in the Juvenile Division.  Lt. Mike Sandeen from Robbery will be taking Delmonico’s position on the night team.  Lt. Witzman is coming the Second after working on the mounted patrol.

Crime in the Eastside is down by 1.42% for the year, with the profiles generally following U.S. trends.  Sexual assault is up by 11% and the question remains if people are reporting more than they used to report because of the city’s effective outreach to victims.  Robberies are down compared with 2015.  Agg. Assalt is down 5.5%; Burglaries down 4%, Domestic calls are down 15%.  In the last 2 weeks, there have been 4 robberies in the precinct, including 2 by juveniles.   August 3 saw a strongarm robbery but the next night there was a robbery at gunpoint by two adults in their early 20’s at 724 Central.  The month also saw 4 assaults, including one of an officer, and a sexual assault in SE that began with an interaction at a NE bar.

Ending on a very good note, an officer working at Central & Lowry returned a stolen bike to its owner and arrested the thief — good police work!

Inspector Loining thought the Open Street event went well. Officers, CPS and attorneys were busy people at many NNO events.

Inspector Loining shared the calendar of community events with PAC attenders. Amplified sound is scheduled (so far) at 12 events between July 29 and Sept. 25.  More may be added.  Officers are  busy monitoring protests and marches, welcoming students back to school, leading off dog walks and other charitable events, monitoring Gopher events, brewery taste nights, church festivals, and more.

New developments:  the Second Precinct will be issuing a quarterly newsletter about the Precinct.  He didn’t suggest the date of the first issue.  The  MPD has 2 classes graduating by the end of the year with a total of 52 new officers, so we’ll be seeing some new faces at the Second.
COURTWATCH:

Anthony Bilges has completed jail time, but Ms. Becker recommended keeping him on the watch list for a while longer.
Cody Corbin has a hearing on 08/15 and is still trespassed at the Lincoln St. address.  Kevin Foster has 3 open cases and has a pretrial on 09/01.  Jarid Jovanovich is still in custody waiting for omnibus hearing on 09/06.  Dae Nisell pleaded  guilty and will be sentenced at the end of August (still need impact statements from victims).  Ryan Pilarski did not  respond to his bench warrant.  Michael Weston-Rose has an open bench warrant.  Ashley Sage has a hearing coming up.
Osman Amin has completed his jail time, remains on probation to 06/15/2017.  James Zaccardi remains on probation until 10/23/16.  Michael Zaccardi is on probation until 10/20/17.
There were no updates on Jerome Darkow, Johnny Hall, Daniel Heacock, Bryan Holmes,  Curtis Laroque, Albert Moen,  Jason Tucker.

July Minutes: approved.  Treasurer’s report: $1058.84.

Old Business:  None

New Business:  A NE Neighbor reported a frustrating incident in which a neighbor had a recreational fire late at night and near a combustible wooden fence.  The MFD did show up to put the fire out, but one of the firemen said they all they could do was put fires out, not file complaints. Because this does not seem to fall in line with a handout shared by our CPS’s, after the meeting, Emilie Quast asked Inspector Loining and CM Reich and Gordon to help us understand the city and state directives.  When I get some responses, I’ll send them along.   FFI: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@fire/documents/webcontent/wcms1p-091363.pdf

Adjourn (forgot to note the time, sorry) 7:30 or so

August Meeting: 311 – What’s new there

Join us on August 8, at 6 PM when we meet in the Monroe Village Community Room, 1900 Central Ave NE.    There is a bus stop right outside the door and plenty of free parking on Central Avenue and the cross streets.

To many of us, 311,  the portal to most non-emergency city services, seems like it’s been around forever.  Actually it took until 2003 before technology advanced enough that 311 was even possible.    Before 2003, Minneapolis had more than 20 call centers, but no way to truly link them, making coordination impossible.  Once the mayor and city council decided to move forward, a new telecom platform was installed, and the program began.  It’s still evolving.  We had a speaker on 311 several years ago, but the system has changed greatly since then while the role of 311 has expanded a great deal, supplementing 911 services and leaving that system free to deal with emergencies.   Leah Skjefte will explain how the program has evolved and will bring us up to date.  There will be time for your questions, so bring them.

We will also be hearing our first State of the Precinct monthly report since Inspector Todd Loining has returned to the Eastside to lead the Second Precinct.  City Attorney Sarah Becker will update the cases we’re watching on Courtwatch.

July 11 2-PAC Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 PM, 24 in attendance.
Introductions.  June minutes approved.  Treasurer’s report: $1058.84, accepted.

On July 5, Chief Harteau announced that Inspector Waite will move to the 5th Precinct, and the current Inspector of the 5th will be moving to the Second Precinct.  Inspector Kathy Waite’s last day will be the 23rd and Inspector Todd Loining’s first day in the Second is the 24th of July.

It will be hard to see Inspector Waite leave the Second Precinct.  Several people related  good memories of Kathy’s hard work, efficiency, and thoughtfulness to share with us.  Many of us have good memories of our own.

Fortunately, our new Inspector, Todd Loining, is ready and eager to return to the Second.  He was here as an officer early in his career and already knows some of the byways and throughways east of the river.  As he reconnects with us, Inspector Loining will be focusing on getting officers in the right spots before crime happens.  He expects officers to get out of the squad cars and engage with community members.

SPEAKER: Our speaker this month was Clara Schmit-Gonzalez, who leads the office of Code Compliance and Traffic Control. This office is part of Regulatory Services along with  Housing Inspections, Fire Inspections, and Animal Care & Control.

This department used to be called Traffic Control but their responsibilities have expanded to include livability and nuisance control issues.  While they are responsible for ticketing  non-compliant parked cars, they also are responsible for traffic control at intersections during rush hours and before and after events.  During emergencies, they assist Police,  Fire and other first responders.   They are also responsible to check code compliance of  commercial dumpsters and snow removal procedures.
The staff comprises 32 compliance and traffic control specialists, 2 lead compliance and traffic control specialists, and 6 field supervisors.  The office works 18 hours/day, 7 days a week plus emergency response work.

Ms Schmit-Gonzalez first walked us through a pamphlet, “Know where you can park”, a three-fold brochure which lists the most common violations and a picture of one of those parking posts with multiple “DO NOT” rules.  You can find the brochure here:

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@regservices/documents/webcontent/convert_265665.pdf

Why are some rules in red?  How many days do you have to renew your car tags? Dropping a trailer on the street, legal or not?  How close can you park to a hydrant, crosswalk, or stop sign whether it’s marked or not?  There’s plenty more in there.

 

All city statistics are kept online, and are public records.  Go to http://www.minneapolismn.gov/311/online/311_traffic and in the left side column, click on “Performance Reports”.  The office issues about 220,000 tickets overall/year and responds to more than 16,000 311 service requests.  311 service requests have increased more than 65% since 2010.   Ms Schmit-Gonzalez pulled out Second precinct statistics.

311 Complaint summary  in the 2nd Pct, by neighborhood: total = 1,400.  Top four:  Marcy-Holmes – 248; Prospect Park – 126; Como – 119; Mid-City Industrial – 83.

Of these, there were 536 reports of abandoned vehicles and 857 parking violations.

Ticket Summary in the Second Precinct: Total = 19,828.  Top four: Marcy-Holmes – 9,382 (47.3%); Prospect Park – 2,175 (11%); Nicollet Island-East Bank – 1,762 (8.9%); Como – 802 (4%).

Tickets by type: of the 19,828 tickets issued, 7,010 were for parking overtime; 3,650 were parking in a NO Parking Zone; 2,856 were registration required.

Question:  311 works fewer hours than Traffic Control.  What happens to a call  when 311 is closed?  Answer:  Officers on duty pick up your report while they are in the field, if it is entered electronically with the app or the self-service process. This includes complaints made on the 311 website.

Question: Who gets a handicap parking permit?    Answer:  Any significant mobility limitation qualifies you for that permit.  Ask your doctor for it before you leave the office.  Some are temporary and others have no end date.

State of the Precinct:  Inspector Waite  reported that the rate of offenses is down even though robberies were up by 5.  As previously reported: the most prevalent crimes in the  Second are burglaries and theft from auto.  The Greenline is still bringing them in to SE Mpls.

Second Precinct Court Watch Summary:

Resolved:  Osman Amin sentenced to 90 days in the workhouse, 75 days stayed, probation to 6/15/17.  Anthony Bilges in the workhouse for 20 days, release 7/22/16.  Daniel Heacock will have mental health re-test in August.  Bryan Holmes was sentenced to 90 days in workhouse 69 days stayed, probation to 3/1/17. Albert Moen sentence: 90 days workhouse, 80 days stayed, probation to 5/9/17.  James Zaccarki, Commit to St. Cloud 17 months, stay for three years, probation until 10/23/16, local confinement, 90 days workhouse, 30 days credit.  Michael Zaccardi, commit to St. Cloud 18 months, stayed for 3 years; 102 days at the workhouse, credit 102 days, probation until 10/20/17local if rec

In custody: Jarid Jovanovich, Dae Nisell, Ryan Pilarski, Jason Tucker,
Bench warrant: Curtis Laroque, Michael Weston-Rose,
Nothing happening: Cody Corbin, Jerome Darkow, Johnny Hall.
Removed :  Jesse Alan Houge,James Jemison.

Added :Kevin Foster, Assault 5 on 6/15 at Sentyrz Market, and Assault 5 on 6/22 (threatened to kill a stranger near 650 Spring St. NE)

Added:  Ashley Sage, 2 thefts and 1 felony drug case, both hearings pending.  3 other reports in the last 12 months.

Old business: – none

New Business:  New Brochure for Courtwatch specific for the Second Precint.  Separate announcement coming.

Emilie Quast2-PAC Board member

July 11 2-PAC update

You may have read in the S’Trib that Inspector Waite will move to the 5th Precinct, in an exchange with Inspector Todd Loining, currently at the 5th.  The official transfer day is July 24.

July PAC will be our last with Inspector Waite.  It will be a time to say Thank You and Good-bye.

In addition, Inspector Loining is planning on attending, so the July PAC will also be a time to say Welcome!  Thank you for crossing the river, Inspector Loining!

On Monday July 11, join us at Monroe Village Community Room, 1900 Central Avenue NE.  We meet at   6PM,   but feel free to show up when you can.  There is always plenty of free parking on Central Avenue and on the cross streets.  19th and Central is a bus stop, for routes 10 & 39; routes 32 and 118 stop nearby at Lowry and Central.

MPD Second Precinct PAC meetings are always free.  You are welcome and invited to come.

Change in Command at the Second

“Also Tuesday [July 5], Fifth Precinct Inspector Todd Loining and Inspector Kathy Waite, who commands the Second Precinct, swapped places,…” from the story at

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-chief-harteau-announces-another-major-shakeup-of-command-staff/385609511/

July PAC: Livability Issues: Traffic and Parking

Join us for the July meeting of the Second Precinct PAC.  The topic this month is car-related  livability issues in Minneapolis.  We will meet at the Monroe Village  Community Room, 1900 Central Avenue NE, starting at 6PM.  There is always plenty of free parking on Central and cross streets; 19th and Central are also bus stops.
Traffic laws in Minneapolis are divided into two broad categories: moving vehicle violations like speeding are handled by Police-Traffic, which might be a topic for another month.  These are the actions the public is probably are the most aware of because of the sirens and flashing lights.

This month’s topic is the very broad chapter of regulations enforced by  Traffic Control, a division of the Regulatory Services Dept.  Like other divisions in Regulatory Services, these officers help us with livability issues.  This unit is led by our July speaker, Clara Schmit-Gonzalez, the city’s deputy director of parking and traffic control.

Traffic Control is responsible for some moving vehicle events.These officers direct traffic during daily rush hours and for special events, including those at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Target Center and Target Field, the TCF Stadium and the (soon to open) US Bank Stadium.

What probably impacts most of us more is the work Traffic Control does to enforce the livability  laws that involve motor vehicles.  This is the team that deals with non-moving violations like parking meter violations, the car that is blocking your driveway, the snow-bunnies that don’t move before the plows come through, the rust-bomb that the guy down the block hasn’t moved in a year, the trailer that’s parked on the street for a week.  These and so many more issues negatively impact your neighborhood ambience and your peace of mind.  Traffic Control is there to help you with them.

Traffic Control is chiefly concerned with Chapters 478 Parking, Stopping and Standing, and 482 Buses and Taxis.  Go to https://www2.municode.com/library/mn/minneapolis/codes/code_of_ordinances  Find the search box in the upper right hand corner and enter the chapter (478 or 482) you want to read.

Think about issues that  you’ve wondered about, or that just don’t seem right.  We’ve heard about “resident only” parking limitations.  Sometimes they work well for the nearby businesses and not as well for residents or vice versa.  15-minutes parking zones are too tight or never enforced?   Lane closures?  Roll-off contractor bins? Bring your questions.

The 2-PAC Homepage:   If you missed a meeting and want to know what happened, monthly note and announcements are posted on this page. The most recent posts are on the main page and in a column on the right side of the screen.  If you enter a month or a topic in the search box,  the month or the topic you missed will come up with a click for more.

June 2-PAC – Safety and Planning in our Parks

The meeting was called to order at 6:08 PM by Peter Radford.  20 people in attendance.

The June meting focused on our award-winning Parks:  Safety and programming keep MPRB winning awards!   Our speakers were MPRB Police Chief Jason Ohotto and the acting Eastside program director  Paul Jaeger.

SAFETY:  Chief Jason Ohotto began by reminding us that the Minneapolis Parks Police  are colleagues with the Minneapolis Police Dept. but are independent of  the MPD.  MPRB Police reports to the Parks Board of Commissioners.

The MPRB Officers are full time, fully trained police officers, who attend the same training at the Police Academy as officers in the MPD and who are sworn in by the city.  MPRB Officers wear the same uniform as the MPD officers. Common training and certification means that MPRB officers, like MPD and UMPD officers respond to emergency calls on the basis of “nearest officer responds”.   MPRB Police Dept. also includes Police Agents, who are fully trained but not sworn in.  They work full time during the summer but part time the rest of the year.  Park Agents  support and supplement officers’ services.  Right now there are 35 sworn officers and just over 20 agents.

The Parks Police work two shifts, 7AM to 4, and 4 to 1AM.  The parks are officially closed from midnight to 6AM.  From 1-7AM, MPD takes any calls for service  in the parks.

The MPRB is responsible for some 200 properties with 50 recreation centers.  The police unit makes sure that all park workers are trained observers, people who have been taught to notice, assess, and report when something “doesn’t seem right.”  Park Police want to develop a relationship with all park staff for mutual support and to ensure the safety of the people who come to the park.  Additionally, while all field staff receives general safety training, recreation program staff has significantly more training.

Chief Ohotto sometimes is asked if his Department is not a duplication of service.  The answer is absolutely not.  The two forces are entwined at many points: In addition to training together at the Academy for the same certification, the departments share needed services for better efficiency and to avoid duplication including 911 dispatch, crime lab services, information sharing necessary for efficient policing.  Additionally, with 200 unique properties to patrol, it’s MPRB officers’ business to know those properties very well.  Unlike well-lit straight, broad streets in most of the city,  MPRB properties are unique.  Having a smaller team learn the terrain well is efficient policing.  Finally, many of the service needs for people who use the parks are quite different from the needs MPD officers find on the street.  It’s better to have a smaller but tightly focused team working the parks.

Question: What are the main issues they face in the parks.  Chief Ohotto pointed  that the “main issue” depends on what park you are looking at.  In some parks you’ll find gang recruitment, illegal business and violence.  In most parks, that is rare.  Some parks, like Loring, Nicollet and Boom Islands, Father Hennepin, are event magnets; other parks draw neighborhood families.  The MPRB  polices 300 to 400 special events each year.  If a scheduled event includes alcohol, MPRB officers must be on hand.    People who are homeless see the parks as safer places to sleep or just pass the time–about 100 people sleep outside in the winter but more in the summer.  They often seek remote sites in the parks.

Question:  Crisis Intervention Training is the newest initiative MPD training.  IS MPRB doing this also?  Answer:  the every MPRB officer will be fully trained by this fall and some have completed training.

Question: Parking meters–what’s the deal?  Answer:  the regional parks have parking meters because many users come from outside our city and do not support regional parks with their tax money.  The neighborhood parks do not have meters, because they are most used by people who live nearby, people  who do pay taxes to support the parks.

PROGRAMMING IN MPRB:  Our Eastside Program director, Paul Jaeger reminded us that program signups commence about 2 months ahead of the programs.  He handed out info sheets for just  two NE parks, which advertised Sanneh Camps offering more than 70 summer camps throughout the metro area, free lunch and dinner programs for people  through age 18,  movies in the park, art camp, science camps, naturalist camps and more, all high quality and all free.  Register at www.minneapolisparks.org  The pools are now open, too [including the totally rebuilt wading pool at Van Cleve.  This is its very first year.]

Program staff are very aware of security and safety for the families who use the parks.  It is staff responsibility to care for the kids who sign up but they are also aware of the kids who just show up.  Some kids are come to the park without signup and with no parental guidance.  For safety reasons, MPRB has no drop-in programs.  Staff will watch for the unsupervised kids, but if something seems wrong, they’ll act on it, perhaps by conversing with the parents, or by going further.  Staff security rules indicate that no staff leaves until all the youth and children have left the park.

Finally, Mr. Jaeger was pleased to announce that MPRB is up to speed on pickleball.  He then found he had to explain to us that pickleball is a mashup of tennis, badminton and ping-pong and is really getting popular.  [EQ: I found an online explanation at  http://www.usapa.org/what-is-pickleball/   Now you know too!]

SECOND PRECINCT REPORTS:  Sgt Mota, State of the Precinct:  While robberies and other crime are down in the Second Precinct, the same problems persist: namely theft from motor vehicle and  robberies in the NE part of the precinct.

Sgt. Mota was very happy to report that the May Open House went very smoothly.  This year we had three dogs including one UMPD dog attending.  Sgt Mota also reported that we’re the only Precinct that has free popcorn, thanks to the wonderful lady from P & P Popcorn, who comes with her popcorn stand in her trailer every year.  131 kids entered the 6 bike giveaways.  As always, our local merchants supported the event very generously.   Planning went better, also: 720 pieces of meat were ordered and there were only 20 hamburgers left over, and almost all the 500 ears of corn were gone. Attendance approached 600 People.

CPS Susan Webb reminded people that the NE Parade is on the 21st [too late], National Night Out is the First Tuesday of August with free registration through July 15 — register your event and you’ll get MOA ride passes and more good things to hand out, and your event will get stops  by your local officers.  Central Avenue Open Street is August 7.

COURTWATCH: Sarah Becker announced that some low level offenders will no longer have supervised probation;  fewer offenders will have access to treatment programs for chemical dependency or anger management.  These programs are funded at the county level.

Osman Amin has chemical dependency issues and may qualify for supervised probation (he is a new add from April).
Anthony Bilges remains in jail waiting for his evaluation.  Jerome Darkow and Jarid Jovanovich are in custody in Anoka County. Curtis Laroque didn’t show up for his jury trial.  Albert Moen was convicted in May, 90 days/80 stayed, 1 year probation. Ryan Pilarski has a new warrant but is not in custody.  Michael Weston-Rose  has a bench warrant.
No updates on Johnny Hall, Bryan Holmes, Jesse Houge, James Jemison, Jordan Sullivan, Jason Tucker, James Zaccrdi.  Daniel Heacock, no updates until August.

Michael Zaccardi and Raymond McParland were removed from the watch list

Two people were added to the list:  Dae Misel randomly assaulted someone in Audubon Park.  He has 11 citywide arrests since 2011 including 4 in the Second Precinct (shoplifting, assault, restraining order violations)
Cody Corbin was arrested for felony possession of meth and damage to property at 1619  Lincoln St. NE.  He has 6 citywide arrests since 2010, including 5 in the Second Precinct since 2015

No old business

New Business: Graffiti-like stickers are appearing around Broadway and Central.  Call 311 and request removal.  You can also use e-mail http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/311/online/index.htm.

What is a Citizen’s Arrest:  When an officer has not witnessed an event, he may request a citizen to fill out a witness form requesting arrest so the officer can take the person into custody.

Adjourn: 7:33PM

Future PAC programs  –  Traffic woes (tickets, complaints, and what to do about all that).  311: how does that work?  New issues in Regulatory Services.  Fire safety.   Medical emergencies: what to do before the EMTs get there.

Do you have a question about safety services in Minneapolis? let us know and we’ll find someone to talk to us about your concerns