February 2-PAC Notes

Meeting called to order at 6:10 with 24 in attendance.  The minutes were approved.

UMPD Chief Matt Clark presented 2-PAC members with a very special Thank You.  The “UMPD Chief’s Distinguished Service Award” is ours for supporting the UMPD as they coordinate with the Second Precinct keeping our University neighbors safe, and for making sure UMPD officers know they are  valued members of  East Side safety services.    Thank you, UMPD!

Our speaker was  Nick Juarez, our Crime Prevention Specialist for the Second Precinct, south of Broadway.  Nick presented a solid plan for staying safe on the streets.

The Stay Safe plan is summarized in three A’s:
   AVOIDANCE, AWARENESS, ASSERTIVENESS.

AVOIDANCE:  For someone to rob you on the street, he must have three things:  a means, a desire, and an opportunity.   You can’t control the first two, but when you take away a robber’s opportunity, you will be safe.

The question then becomes:  how do you take away opportunity?   Plan to walk with others and phone ahead so folks are looking for you.  University visitors, students and staff can use the 24/7 escort service, which extends about a mile off campus in every direction.  The service is free to anyone affiliated any way with the U. — that DOES include casual visitors.

dial 612.624.9255  (624-WALK)
Staying on well lit, heavily traveled streets is an old piece of advice, but it still works.  It’s on record that many robberies take place between 10 PM and early morning.  If you must be on the streets during those hours, take extra precautions.

AWARENESS:  This is a big one.

Always be aware of your environment:  Stay in the present.  We are all bombarded with distractors, many natural, like emotional focus (exams, bills) or a blister on your heel.  Many distractors are artificial, especially electronic gear.  Alcohol and chemical ingestion can keep you from focusing on your surroundings.   Your safety may depend on how well you  learn to control your distractions.

Be aware of people walking down the street:  focus on their body language, make eye contact and say “Hello.”  What are they wearing?  How are they holding their hands (open or tense)?  Are they hiding themselves, covered up with clothes so you can’t see who they are?  What clothes?

Know your environment:  Subscribe to MPD and UMPD crime alerts, because crimes tend to happen in a cluster.  You can sign up for these at:
http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/crimealert/police_crimealert_signup
and:
https://docs.google.com/a/umn.edu/forms/d/1YBdtAgc9uDEXVZ2EN8Weml3Kwp4xgXzWseBnIUTc97k/viewform

Another  recommended source is the MPD crime maps which you can access at www.raidsonline.com

Remember: It’s dangerous to treat rumors  as fact.   People listening to police scan radio may think  that what they are hearing is fact.  It is not.  It is a series of reports called in by people who are requesting  officers to come and  determine what the facts are.  You’ll get facts you need to be aware of from officers’ reports at the three sources listed above.

Be aware of yourself:   listen to your inner voice and trust it.  Know your strengths; know your limits,

ASSERTIVENESS:  The first step to taking charge of your personal safety is have a plan you know you can use.   You can take classes on self defense, but taking a class is only a first step.  After class, practice what you learn until it becomes automatic, because if you decide to fight, you won’t have time to plan your moves.  Research other personal safety devices:  your voice, items like sprays, screech alarms and even stun guns.  But the devices must be in your hand and you must know how to work them. You won’t have time to find them at the bottom of your back pack.  Know how to aim them and fire them and make that another automatic response. Your phone is a safety device if it is not what the robber is after.  You may not have it when he’s gone.

Nick gave a vivid description on how quickly an attack can happen: mere seconds from start to done.  He made several vital points:

1)  most of us simply don’t have the training to react.
2)  the person who is after your wallet or phone knows what he is doing and is good at doing it.  These people are mostly not amateurs–they earn their living this way.  They are already on an adrenaline rush, before you are even aware you are a target, and long before your own instincts can kick in.

Finally, know how to be a good witness:  stay calm, get yourself to safety,  evaluate the situation and call 911 when you get to a phone.  When you are reporting, put in as much detail as you can: clothing, height, direction headed, alone or with someone, met by a car or staying on foot.   If there is a car, is it light or dark, sedan, SUV or other.

EQ: This was an outstanding presentation.  I strongly urge organizations throughout the Second Precinct to call Nick in and have him present to your group, large or small. Nick vividly presented scenarios from the point of view of a victim, a robber, and a cop.  Once you understand all sides of this, you will be better prepared to make your personal Triple A plans for safety.

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:

Inspector Waite reported several effective arrests have taken place in the last moth.  Some suspects just taken in are believed to be responsible for as many as 20 crimes in the Second.  Also, the person who robbed the SE Bank is a suspect is a Brooklyn Park (?) bank robbery.

Inspector   Waite  made the point that the strong community support the officers in the Second Precinct receive from residents is greatly appreciated. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often.  People who work at the Second are trying to get out to more community meetings, just to get to know more people in the community.  If you have something going on that the police could attend, let them know.  They want to be familiar faces on the Eastside.

COURTWATCH:

Jerome Darkow is set for trial on March 7, looking at a 26 month sentence
Johnny Hall was sentenced last week
Daniel Heacock was found incompetent at his hearing, ordered away from the U of MN, and ordered to reside in a mental health facility

Christopher Perkins is set for trial on March 14.  The prosecutor has a strong case and it’s the opinion of our attorneys that he will be facing a judge who is not inclined to give probation.

Bianka Truman agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct and will have no further jail time if she has no similar offenses for one year.  She was removed from Courtwatch list.

Jason Tucker  still has a bench warrant open.

New Business: List of topics for future PAC programs include:  the Horse Patrols, Juvenile sex trafficing, Minneapolis Parks, 311 services, Regulatory Services (housing), what traffic officers look for (How to get a traffic ticket), What to do before the EMTs get there, Fire safety.

We may be looking at how Daesh (ISIL,  ISIS, Al Shabab) works on naive youth in our city — (EQ:  it may be pretty similar to how other “gangs” corrupt our kids.)  What are the signs?.  FFI See article in the 2.14 Star Tribune:  http://www.startribune.com/inside-a-minneapolis-courtroom-a-peek-into-terror-recruitment/368739421/   and related stories in the paper.  Type ISIL or ISIS in the Star Tribune search box.

Meeting concluded at  7:57PM

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