Sept. 2-PAC: Housing Inspections

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 by Peter Radford.  We had 23 attenders.

We shuffled the agenda slightly because one of our speakers was also participating in the University District Alliance meeting at Van Cleve.

August minutes approved.   Treasurer’s report accepted.

PRECINCT REPORT: Inspector Loining  led off with his state of the precinct report which showed that while overall crime is down 9.2% from last year, sexual assault reports continue to rise, and are now up over 8%; this still may be an increase in the number of people reporting, not in the actual number of incidents.  Burglaries are down over 9%.  Last year saw 110 robbery reports, but only 101 on the books at the end of August, so that is down 8.18%.   Last week alone saw 8 robberies, but it also saw 5 arrests.  Among the arrests were two incidents in which citizens stopped a suspect and held him until officers could arrive, 1 in NE and 1 in SE. Those citizens will be nominated for citations.  While citizens are not encouraged to put themselves in danger, officers appreciate all cooperation and this was just stunning.

The Police Academy will have 54 more officers on the street by the end of the year.  With  Chief Harteau’s support, the 2nd will get its share.

An attender shared an event that prompted Inspector Loining to stress citizens who are concerned about police response should promptly call the precinct and ask to speak to a supervisor.  Jot down the facts as you see them, including time, squad number, officer’s name, nature of the concern, as much as you can.

UMPD Chief Matt Clark attended this meeting also.    Campus activities are just getting started and so far there is not much going on.  As always, they’re watching for  alcohol consumption by minors and loud parties.  He urges that if you have any questions about student conduct, you contact the UMPD. Easy to remember 62-4cops 624-2677 or https://police.umn.edu/ (Look for the Compliments or Complaints button at the top.) For emergency dispatch it’s 911, and the nearest squad car will respond.

HOUSING INSPECTIONS: Our speakers were Mike Rumppe, who leads Housing Inspections, and Ted Van Winkle who is responsible for all of SE Mpls and part of NE, as well.  Mike is in his 27th year in Inspections, and had previously worked in Fire Inspections.  He has now had one year leading Housing.  Ted has spent 9 years in Inspections, working in SE and part of NE Minneapolis.

Housing Inspections is a 65-person unit and is responsible for 33,000 rental properties in the city.  This unit is responsible for residential properties SFD to three-plexes.  For these buildings only the Housing Code Applies.   The Mpls Fire Dept does inspections for buildings with 4 or more dwelling units.

They also do exterior inspections of owner-occupied dwellings, but do not inspect the interiors.  For rental units, they are responsible for exterior AND interior.  Rental units earn their way to one of three categories:

Tier 1) Good.  65% of the properties are rated “good” and are only reinspected every 6 or 7 years.
Tier 2) Middle – 25% of all properties are not quite “good”  and need more attention.  They are inspected every 3 or4 years
Tier 3) Not-so-good.  10% of all properties; these get annual inspections.

QUESTION: Are Tier 3 reinspections done on a cost-recovery basis?  ANSWER: That’s being worked on.

QUESTION: Who handles long grass and overgrown shrubbery?  ANSWER: Report these on 311.  If there is more than one call in a year, the property goes on an “abate” list.  When they’ve mowed the lawn once, Inspections can call a contracted lawn service if violation is observed.  Three businesses have contracts with the city.  Long grass is actually the most common call.

QUESTION: We see inoperable cars on lots.  Why can’t they get pulled out.  ANSWER: We can’t always tow.  15 properties are currently being monitored.  The police get some at the curb.

QUESTION about Life Safety issues:  These always have short timelines for correction.

While Life Safety issues are only allowed a short time for correction, lower level violations are given longer timelines and those may be extended if there is evidence of effort and some progress is continually being made.  Weather may be a factor:  if an owner  is cited for house or garage needing paint in November, the time may be 6 months out.

Ted mentioned that sometimes additional social services need to be brought in, especially if owners are no longer able to care for the property themselves.

One new restriction is coming up:  In the 7-county area, there will be a restriction on how far  away a property manager can live from the properties he cares for.  This should help speed up repairs and abatement somewhat.  That doesn’t me the landlord can’t live in Winona or Phoenix, but the person responsible for fixing the plumbing will have to be closer than that.

QUESTION:  What are the rules about window well access:  Answer: The rules apply to basement bedrooms.  Someone in the bedroom must have access to the window from the inside.  The step-up can be a bed adjacent to the window or a footstool–something like that.  Once someone has exited the window, they must be able to get out of the window well  (ladder?) AND must have access to a public walk way, a street, or an alley, not find they’re in a back yard with a locked privacy fence.

LIVABILITY ISSUES:  Rentals have a long term problem with vermin, especially bedbugs.  5 years ago they had maybe 5 complaints.  Recently, they counted 500.  The problem is that bedbugs are good hitchhikers.  Heat is the best cure for bedbugs and a lot of other vermin also, but it’s very expensive.
SECTION 8:  Section 8 does its own inspections.  HUD standards are not the same as the city’s standard.

Ted emphasized that citizens should continue to call 311 for complaints.  If you live OUTSIDE the 612 area code, call 612.673.3000.  There are several inspectors for Eastside;  complaints that go through 311 (612.673.3000) will be more quickly assigned to the inspector designated for that block.

COURTWATCH:  Active cases: Cody Corbin His domestic abuse case is the lead case; he has pretrial on 9/27.  Jerome Darkow New theft from Home Depot which is a probation violation; 9/29 arraignment.  Kevin Foster: three open assaults and new property damage charge; in custody and will get a competency test later this month. Daniel Heacock: found incompetent so his felonies are suspended; re-evaluation in February 2017.  Jarid Jovanovich: In custody in Anoka County; had a hearing 2 weeks ago but info is not available.   Dae Nisell: In custody; he got out on a plea but in 2 weeks was back at the trespass property, now waiting for competency hearing.  Ryan Pilarski: bench warrant issued.  Ashley Sage: new misdemeanor, probation violationhearing on 10/31/16 and a 10/31/16 hearing for a theft in the 1st Precinct.  Jason Tucker: In custody with expected release date 11/14/16.

On probation: Osman Amin (to 06/15/17).  Michael Zaccardi (to 10/20/17

No updates:  Johnny Hall, Bryan Holmes, Curtis Laroque, Albert Moen, Michael Weston-Rose, James Zaccardi
Removed from the list:  Anthony Bilges

Added to the list:  Robert Schroeder: Trespass on Nicollet Island.  He has had 14 arrests since 2010 for livability offenses, 4 in the 2nd Precinct since 2014.

OLD BUSINESS: none
NEW BUSINESS: Our October meeting falls on Indigenous People’s Day (Columbus Day), and many city employees have the day off, including the City Attorney’s Office and some others.  We agreed we’d have our regular meeting on our regular day, Monday, October 10, and will lean a little more heavily on Deb Russell from the County Attorney’s Office to handle Courtwatch alone.
Peter Radford reminded us it’s time to start thinking about our December 24 10-hour dinner.

Adjourn: 7:34

REMINDERS:

You can find notes and announcements from previous 2-PAC meetings on our homepage:  https://courtwatch2pac.com/

You can find Second Precinct crime report summaries and maps  at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/statistics/index.htm

2-PAC meets on Sept. 12

Join us on September 12, at 6PM for our monthly presentation by people who help us in our community.  We meet at 1900 Central Ave, Monroe Village Community Room.  There is always plenty of free parking on Central and cross streets.  19th and Central is also a bus stop.
Our speakers this month are Richard Bauman and Ted Van Winkle,  who are the lead housing inspectors for NE and SE Minneapolis, respectively.

Those of you who have watched Inspections work with the owners of problem properties probably wonder what takes so long to just get things fixed.  Others of us may have had a problem in our own homes, and wonder why the inspection needs to be so picky.

The Inspectors will let us know how our different neighborhoods are similar, and how they differ.  Then they’ll outline the procedures  they use to handle problems and tell us why those  procedures were set up.  What safeguards are written into housing inspection procedures?  Who do they supposed to protect?  How do inspections balance the rights and needs of landlords, renters, homeowners, impacted neighbors?

If you have specific questions you want to inspectors to answer, please bring them.  I’ll appreciate it if you send your questions to me in advance, to give the inspectors time to work on  thoughtful answers.  Or, just come in.  I’m pretty sure these two people have already heard it all.

Following our speakers, Inspector Loining will update us on trends in the Second Precinct.

Courtwatch updates from Sarah Becker and Deb. Russell

You can find notes and announcement from previous 2-PAC meetings on our homepage:   https://courtwatch2pac.com/

Future programs: October is Fire Safety.  November: what to do before the EMTs arrive.  I’ve had two suggestions for future presentations:  An explanation of Chief Harteau’s new training program called “Life Matters”.  The S’Trib had an article about the MPD Cold Cases: New tests and technology are making it possible to close cases that have been open for decades.

 

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/