2-PAC January meeting: Street safety and SuperBowl

It’s 2018  and we’re starting the new year welcoming our new Crime Prevention Specialist, Rashid Ali, who will be covering the Second Precinct north of Broadway.  I hope plenty of folks from that sector will join us to welcome him and give him a few friendly faces to look for as he introduces himself in the neighborhoods.

CPS Nick Juarez offered to do a presentation on street safety, which is a good topic to have  fresh in mind as Minneapolis hosts the SuperBowl at the end of the month.

Coincidentally, neighbors in Windom and Audubon Park spotted suspicious people early to mid December;  watching for that is a different kind of street awareness.  If we all know what to report and when to report it, we can generate a record that will give officers something to look for and where and when to look for it.

Finally, if there is time we will hear just a little about SuperBowl preparations in the Second Precinct. This looks like it will be a joint report among Inspector Loining, CPS Juarez, and perhaps another professional.  In any case, it is a timely, complex  topic for us.

Join us on Monday, January 8, at 1900 Central Avenue NE, directly across from the Second Precinct.  We gather at 6 pm with a call to order about 6:10.  It’s warm in there and there is always free parking nearby on Central  and the cross streets.



November report: Implicit Bias

The meeting was called to order by Larry Ranallo at 6:10 PM,  32 people attending.
Our speakers this month were Sgt. Darcy Horn from the Procedural Justice Unit of the MPD, Officer Yolanda Wilks, and Glenn Burt, who is the (Mpls.) project coordinator from the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.

Sgt. Horn opened by outlining how today’s Procedural Justice program was developed.  After incidents in 2014 that drew attention to excessive use of force on people, particularly people who are minority group members, President Obama created a Task Force on 21st Century Policing.  This task force included people from police hierarchy, law, civil rights activists and other fields [EQ-note: The official announcement which includes a full roster with members’ credentials is here:  https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/18/president-obama-announces-task-force-21st-century-policing]  The task force traveled around the listening, asking questions and observing.  [EQ-note: The final summary addressed to Local Government,  to Law Enforcement, and to Communities who want to move from recommendations to action is here:  https://cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/taskforce/implementation_guide.pdf]
Sgt. Horn handed out four summary sheets that explain the basic tenets of “Procedural Justice” which is the basis of this program.
Procedural Justice is based on four pillars:  Fairness, Impartiality in decision-making, Giving citizens a voice,  Transparency.  Fairness is not only about outcome.  Getting a ticket for speeding is a negative outcome, but if the speeder feels she was treated fairly by the officer, she is more likely to feel the encounter was fair, is more likely to comply with the officer’s requests (as to show proof of insurance) and less likely to challenge the ticket.  Following the tenets of procedural justice develops positive relationships between police and community in which members of the community have trust in officers and view them as honest, unbiased and lawful.  It follows then that members of  the community will feel they share common interests and goals with the police and will feel an obligation to follow the law and otherwise cooperate.
Implicit Bias is the automatic connection people make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups.  This response can influence your behavior even when you are not explicitly prejudiced.  Quoting from the topic sheet”…’Racism without racists’… can cause institutions or individuals to act on racial prejudices, even in spite of good intentions and non-disciminatory policies or standards.”  Implicit bias can shape our view of race, gender, age, religion, and other factors.  In police interaction, implicit bias is a reason some will look at one person with suspicion but presume another to be innocent.  The result is a negative impact on community perception of law enforcement.  Study suggests that biases can be unlearned and negative bias can be replaced with neutral or positive mindsets.
Reconciliation is the third aspect of the training program.  This looks for frank conversations between authorities and community members to “reset” relationships that are negatively impacted by historical tensions and grievances.   Mutual respect and coordination yield working relationships between police and the communities they serve.  Mutual misunderstanding and mistrust undermine the safety of both police and citizens.    Many people in minority communities believe that the police are using  resources like drug laws as tools to oppress them,  The history of slavery, the prevalence of police stop-and-frisk and other disrespectful behavior by police further fuel the distrust.   On the other side, police and others believe that minority groups tolerate or abet crime and violence.   The process of Reconciliation bares these beliefs so that both sides can see how they harm the process of finding a common ground to begin shared work toward a shared goal.
[EQ note: For the full text handouts, go to: https://trustandjustice.org/resources/articles  and click on the tags:  Procedural Justice, Implicit Bias and Reconciliation]
Sgt. Horn explained that traditional Police training focuses on end results, which has led many officers to think that achieving results justified whatever it took to get the job done.  Now officers are being trained to give people a voice, to try and maintain neutrality, and to offer respect.  Officers must focus on the encounter with a citizen, and not just on the outcome.
In 2017, Procedural Justice offered three days of training  for every member of the MPD.  The agenda for first day is to cover and explain the above: fairness, impartiality, listening, and transparency and the high importance of the quality of treatment.  It’s true that sometimes an officer will find themselves in a situation where they can’t use the procedural justice pillars, but they can use them afterwards to explain how the situation went.  The second day is “practice”: the officers are given a selection of scenarios and a chance to respond to them.   The third day focuses on implicit bias training, where the focus is on neutrality  and understanding what goes on  in the human mind when we make decisions, so we can understand how the process goes a little better.
Everyone has biases, and when officers can understand this a little better, we hope they will recognize their own biases and step back to understand a situation before acting.
The MPD Procedural Justice Dept. is now taking this training out to the community.   We have trained the Park Board police, and  we are offering this training more in depth if groups and organizations will let them know there is interest.   [EQ note:  Sgt. Horn repeated this offer;  she invites organizations to contact her FFI. Her e-mail is  darcy.horn@minneapolismn.gov )
Continuing his contribution to the program in Minneapolis, Glenn Burt will work as community outreach team-member for the Minneapolis initiative.
Glenn:  Historically we have not done a good job of explaining to communities what we [the police] are doing.  The program goal is to make changes in how we think, how we react,   This is a top to bottom change about  how the police interact with the public.  This is about treatment during the process.  Most of us recognize, for example, in a restaurant, if the waiter rude, you don’t care about the meal in the end, but you do care about how you felt.
We want officers to understand that the members of the public are our “customers”;  we want to create a better relationship with them.  This training is a first step toward that goal.
The Dept. of Justice chose Minneapolis for the place to create and test this program.  Other cities (Burlington, Stockton, and more) wanted to be the first but Minneapolis got it.
There is a question of if you can change entrenched beliefs.  There are ways of moving people from those beliefs.  One is to build  assessment into reviews.  While  police departments are paramilitary, that can’t shape the everyday norm of interacting with the community.  Officers must learn (if they don’t know) that talking builds trust.  They must also know that the police need public help to solve crime.  From the top down, officers will hear and repeat this message. It will be easier for the most recent recruits, since they have heard this message from day one.
Question:  Who gives officers feedback?  Measures are the most common source of feedback:  The number of complaints goes down.  When someone files a complaint, the most common complaint is treatment.  Working with officers, Burt reminds them it doesn’t matter how small an event seems to the officer, it is always an opportunity to make a positive connection that means something to the citizen.   Burt uses the concept of a “Community bank”:  every positive interaction is a deposit; every negative interaction is a withdrawal.  Officers are given pocket cards to hand out so their names won’t be forgotten.
Question:  Are police officers limited to by the laws and ordinances on the books.  Answer: No.  This initiative is to promote relationship building; it’s not limited to law enforcement.  We recognize that everyone has good and bad days.  The bad days are the ones that give you the most lessons to learn.
[EQ note: at this point, my tape recorder hit a bad patch in the tape, and some of Mr. Burt’s answers to questions were not recorded.]
The most important thing for an officer to learn is the value of building trust.  If you trust someone, you are more likely to cooperate with them rather than doubt or work against them.
Think of this as developing a muscle: if you notice someone with good customer service, with that person it’s second nature  All to often, policing gives people a sour disposition.  We want to get away from that.  Eye contact, friendly face, all of that helps people want to trust you.  Officers are people who started this career because they wanted to help.  Sometimes they lose track of that.
The 3-day program we used this summer is a training exercise.  Three days is not going to change people,  but it does give them insight into why people respond to them as they do, and gives them skills to practice as they interact with people.  We went out to members of diverse segments of our community and asked them what it’s important for our officers to know.  This information must be shared, because an officer might be switched from one precinct to another, where the community norms are very different.

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:  Inspector Loining presented a summary year-to-date.  Overall violent crime is down over 15% compared with 2016.  Burglaries, however are different.  Burglary of dwelling with no apparent force for entry is down by 27$, but burglary of garage is substantially up with and without force, the highest concentration is from 34th to 37th Avenues NE.  Recommended prevention include upgrading your locks and using them, increase exterior lighting and consider motion detectors, trim trees and shrubs so that the garage doors can be seen by you and your neighbors.  Always: if you see something, phone it in.

Auto theft  from June 1 to November 8 included 176 stolen vehicles, 85 recovered.

The community Response Team reports:
1) 3 arrests following a search warrant during which a M203 grenade launcher, and a stolen motorcycles were recovered along with heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

2) A traffic stop led to the recovery of methamphetamine and information about  an ongoing narcotics investigation.  SWAT entry recovered a .45  handgun, meth, cocaine and $500 cash.  One person charged.
3) After residents complained about traffic not stopping at a stop sign, a traffic stop led to the discovery  of meth and a digital scale, while K9 located narcotics concealed in the car.  One person arrested.

COURTWATCH: Judi Cole, Hennepin County Atty, reported:

Jerome Breen pretrial scheduled for 11-22.  Cody Corbin hearing scheduled 11-21 for new felony violation of no-contact order; Hussein Farah was convicted on 11-02 for 5th Degree ciminal sex conduct but the 5th degree drug possession was dismissed.  Johnny Hall was arrested on 11-13 for  felony level drug possession.  Steven Haney has a sentencing scheduled for two charge on 12/20.  Daniel Heacock was found incompetent but not commitable because he is not a danger to himself or to others; his bench warrant was stayed to 11-14.  Paula Heille has a jury trial scheduled for 12-4. Bryan Holmes has a 11-16 pretrial.  Kenneth Nelson has two hearings on 11-30.  Michael Zaccardi pled guilty and received 90 days/83 stayed.

No change: Jason Enrico, Kevin Foster, Mahad Ismail’s warrant of 8/31 is still active.  Curtis Laroque, nothing new.  Joshua Poplawski remains on probation after a violation hearing.  Ashley Sage is continuing her treatment.  Robert Schroeder’s bench warrant issued 7-12 remains active.

NEW BUSINESS:  First meetings for planning the 12-24 dinner for on duty First Responders are starting. If you wanted to attend a planning meeting or to volunteer, contact Emilie Quast at e-quas@umn.edu.

Board members presented a summary of what the December 24 10+ hour dinner is for, how it’s organized, and that there are always ways to help, early or closer to the date, and with as many or few hours as you have to share.  Everyone is wanted, needed, and welcome.


November 2-PAC: Implicit Bias

Our November speaker is Glenn Burt, one of the people who are conducting the MPD implicit bias program for the Mpls Police Dept.
I hope you’ll take the time to read this article in the SW Journal, before we meet:  http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/2016/03/police-and-community-take-a-hard-look-at-implicit-bias/
We’ll gather on  November 13 at 6PM, 1900 Central Ave NE, in the Monroe Village Community Room. Call to order about 6:10.

Emilie Quast, Board Memeber

MPD 2nd  Precinct PAC

October 2-PAC report: Restorative Justice

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 by Emilie Quast.  15 people attending.

The October speakers were Tina Sigel and Alexander Quanbeck from Restorative Justice.  This is the 20th Anniversary year for Restorative Justice Community Action (RJCA); the organization has been working with the MPD Second Precinct since 2003.

Restorative Justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victim, the offender, and the community, instead of laws.  In our current criminal justice system, a crime is considered an act against the state and laws are broken.  In contrast, Restorative Justice regards a crime a an act against another person or community in which relationships are broken.  It holds an offender accountable, and requires them to take responsibility for the harm they have done and to find ways to make amends to victims and the community.

The program:  RJCA uses a restorative justice process called “community conferencing.”  A person who has done harm sits in a circle with community members in the area where the offense occurred.  The participant shares his story of what happened and who he feels his actions have impacted.  Next the community members relate how they are impacted by the offense, both personally and as a voice of the community.  Then, together, they create an agreement for the participant to make amends. The agreement could include an apology, community service, or other possible elements that would help repair the harm.  The goal is to agree upon an action that will make things right with community, with persons affected by one person’s wrong behavior, and how the participant can make things right with himself.

RJCA works with adults and youth in Minneapolis,  and elsewhere in Hennepin County and in Ramsey County.  RJCA works with Drug Court, low level felony and misdemeanor/gross misdemeanor offenses.  System partners include Hennepin and Ramsey County Attorney’s Offices, Minneapolis and St. Paul City Attorney’s Offices, Minneapolis Police Dept. and Juvenile Division, among others.

QUESTION: Is this for first time offenders or for anyone. ANSWER:  First time offenders typically, if it’s a low level  offense..  As long as they haven’t done anything in the last two years, they are eligible for our program.  In addition to this work,

If there is a criminal charge, they may be eligible for this option if they choose to do it. This is not an “easy-out”.  It doesn’t let people off the hook just because they are not going through the court system.  They will meet people and talk about something that they may be  really embarrassed or ashamed about.  It takes a lot of courage to face that;  in contrast, if you go to court, you just pay a fee/fine, and it’s done.  With RJCA, the participants face what they have done and get feedback on how it has  impacted others.

QUESTION:  Does this get the charge expunged from a participant’s record?  RJCA program will get it dismissed but not expunged. They have to go through a different process for expungement.

Drug court process:  We come in toward the end of the drug court process.  They’re sharing their perspective with community, not just people they know.   It’s an open dialog.   You learn about other people’s experiences.  People are more than what they have done; they have stories and this process helps fill in that information.  It helps community members also, learning the back story is as much for the participants as it is for the community members.

The Interact Program:  A program with the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office called Interact: someone who is charged with obstructing police activities.  The participant sits down with a lieutenant from the Police Dept. to talk about what happened and to hear each other’s perspective.
QUESTION: Do they come back? Do they commit another crime? We don’t track recidivism rates, but there re studies that do suggest the Restorative Justice can reduce recidivism.   Last year, the 2nd Pct had 117 cases, 107 from U of MN.  Success rates: in the 2nd Pct: 96.2%. Typical offenses are minor consumption, public urination, social host.  A benefit of doing a community conference is you learn you do have an impact on the people living near you who aren’t students.  The volunteers who come to the conferences tend to be people who want to connect with the students in their community.  The circle meeting tends to extend the students’  connection to their community and that makes a huge difference to students’ behavior as they go forward. It’s estimated the value of student Community Service in a year is about $16,800, valued at about $26 /hour.  Restorative Justice tends to find work for participants that taps into the people’s/students’ skills and values.

Sentence To Serve program is not part of RJCA, but it’s an alternative to RJCA.  Obviously picking up trash on the highway is a valuable service, but it doesn’t connect you with your community.

There are RJ partners in the community that work specifically in schools.

QUESTION: How many youth participants are there? RJCA closed approximately 145 youth cases last year.

All our interns: social work interns are all working on youth cases.
RJCA is always looking for more facilitators and for community members to participate in the conferences. Volunteers live throughout the city and out in the suburbs, including Minnetonka, the Brooklyns, South and North Minneapolis.    If interested please contact us at info@rjca-inc.org, or call 612.746.0789

Additional note:In addition to the work outlined above, RJCA holds monthly community conversations on Implicit Bias at various locations in the area.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come.  For more information, please contact RJCA at 612.746.0780. They have offered to hold one of these conversations in the Second Precinct.  [Let Emilie know if you are interested in attending]


COURTWATCH: Judi Cole, Hennepin County Atty’s Office:

Richard Breen: Pre-trial hearing scheduled for 10-19 for his theft in Marcy-Holmes. He also has a loitering with open bottle charge.

Cody Corbin: Is in custody for violation of a no-contact order and has a 10-23 hearing. He had a stay of imposition but the violation may have impacted that.

Jason Enrico: Convicted in July & sentenced to 13 months, stayed 3 years, probation until 7-14-20, must complete treatment, remain law-abiding, contact probation and notify of any change.

Hussein Farah: Omnibus hearing on 10-11 for Criminal sex conduct (2 in July, strangers in the same bldg, diff. days) and drug possession (5-15)

Kevin Foster:   Convicted on 6-15 for 1st degree property damage, but given a stay of imposition over the State’s objection based on prior convictions (13) and prior arrests (31).  Is on supervised probation until 6-5-20.

Johnny Hall: Complaint warrant issued on 2-10-17, bench warrant on 2-13-17 still at large.

Steven Haney: 11-6-17 Jury trial on 1st degree drug sale and has sentencing the same day for a diff. 1st degree drug sale.

Daniel Heacock.  10-18-17 Met bail and was released.  Found incompetent but not so bad that he can be committed, since then has gotten 3 more misdemeanors.  6 month review of previous offenses.  If he’s found incompetent on a misdem. it is dismissed.  (Not true of gross misd. or felonies)  Not a danger or himself or others and is just out and waiting for the next hearing.

Paula Heille: Failed to appear for 10-09 omnibus hearing (re: 5th degree drug possession)  and now has a bench warrant.

Bryan Holmes: 10-11 Pretrial for two misdemeanors.

Mahad Ismail: Convicted on 7-19; failure to appear at ACF and a warrant was issued on 8-31.

Curtis Laroque: Convicted on 11-4, 305 days stayed for 2 years, probation to 11-4-18

Kenneth Nelson:  10-9 hearing on 3 felonies, not updated before PAC.

Joshua Poplawski: Sentenced on 6-1-17 on 5th degree drug possession, probation violation hearing on 9-15, released to “sober housing” treatment center.

Ashley Sage: 10-11 review hearing, she’s been doing well in the program.’

Robert Schroeder: Bench warrant issued 7-12-17

Michael Zaccardi: 10-10 arraignment for damage to property. He has a new probation officer but hasn’t met yet. He also has mental health issues but is not eligible for commitment. After a question from an attender, the probation officer outlined some of the options that are possibly open to Mr. Zaccardi (there are options for him!).  He is homeless at this point, and that is not an impossible obstacle for him.


Dae Nisell: has moved out of the Second Precinct.  Voted to remove him from our watch list.


NEW BUSINESS:  Next month will be a speaker on the new MPD program on Implicit Bias.

Next month we will also begin planning our December 24 Thank you meal for first responders.  There will be a separate call for volunteers and meeting announcements.


Meeting adjourned.

October 2-PAC Update: Restorative Justice

Our speakers will be Alexander “Z” Quanbeck, the Adult Case Coordinator, and Tina Sigel, Community Coordinator. The Minneapolis Restorative Justice program is currently in its 20th Anniversary Year. It’s been working with the Second Precinct since 2003.

Join us to hear how RJ help might fit into your organization when you need extra hands and (maybe) a couple of strong backs. I needed both for a gardening project at Talmage Crossing and met the nicest fellow you’d ever share a shovel with.

We’ll meet at Monroe Village Community Room, 1900 Central Ave NE. Gather at 6 PM and call to order about 6:10. Since City Employees have the day off, I hope more people will show up on Monday. We’ll have plenty of empty chairs.

October PAC: Restorative Justice Program in MPLS

Join us on October 9 when we’ll get an update on the Minneapolis Restorative Justice program.  We had a speaker on this long ago, when they were just getting started.  The program has grown and developed over the years.  Our speaker will be from  Restorative Justice Community Action which you can read about here:  www.rjca-inc.org

There is more background info from the U of MN, including videos: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/rjp/

It’s very heady stuff.

We meet October 9, 6PM in the Monroe Village Community Room, 1900 Central Ave NE.

Looking ahead:  1) Our November speaker will be from the MPD Implicit Bias training program.  2) It’s time to ask people to step forward to join the 2-PAC planning committee.  New people bring fresh ideas and that means better programs.  We NEED YOU!  3)  December is coming and with it is our 12/24 feast for First Responders who are on duty that family day, keeping you safe.  This year will be 2-PAC’s 34th year of saying “Thank-You”

Sept 2-PAC: Sexual Assault: the police response

Join us on Monday, Sept. 11, for our next 2-PAC. We will gather at 6PM in the Community room of Monroe Village Apartments, 1900 Central Avenue NE.

Since June, we’ve been hearing about some of the support agencies and services available to victims of sexual assault.

In June and August, our presenters were from The Aurora Center and from The Sexual Violence Center, the two organizations that focus on supporting victims of sexual violence. Our July speakers were the director of the Minneapolis Dept. of Civil Rights, and an investigator in the Complaint Investigations Division. Wrapping up this series is our speaker for September, Lt. Nicholas Torborg of the MPD Special Crimes Investigation Division, who will outline the police side of response to an assault. What do the city or county attorneys’ offices require the officers to look for? Clearly, this is a critical support service for victims of assault, but it is also an office with clearly defined goals and procedures for achieving those goals.

Looking ahead: Our October presentation will be by the Restorative Justice program. This program has changed since we heard about them several years ago; it’s time to get an update. Our November speaker will tell us about a new training program for MPD officers: Implicit Bias.

It’s time for new members to join the 2-PAC Board. Do you have ideas for a topic or speaker? Do you want to upgrade our home page? December is coming up and with it our annual 10-hour buffet for First Responders–we always need new help there! If you like people, we could really use someone to attend neighborhood organization meetings and let Second Precinct residents know more about us.