2-PAC January 9 notes

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 by Dorothy Bode, 27 attenders.

Inspector Loining opened with a brief report on the Precinct:
Per the Star Tribune summary report, crime was down in the 2nd Precinct by 2.15%, and down 5.85% in the 1st.  Good 2nd Precinct work reported:  one Friday morning  4 vehicles were stolen in the 2nd Precinct–all had been left idling and unlocked.  However, within hours all four vehicles were recovered, and suspects were in custody.  One of the suspects, a juvenile, had left evidence in 5 stolen vehicles.  In a second incident, 2 officers stopped a  burglary in progress on the 1600 block of Washington NE; officers found the suspect hiding nearby with an axe (tool used for  forced entry); suspect was one of our habitual offenders.  Two officers inspected a suspicious vehicle and found an individual living in it; the person had an open warrant.  In a 4th incident a victim was approached by 15 individuals, who threatened the victim, but fled when someone driving by saw and just stopped the car.  The men fled, and an incident report went out with good descriptions of the attackers  One individual matching the description was found soon after on the light rail and had the victim’s wallet on him.
While  it is illegal to leave a car idling  at the curb, this is OK in vehicles with the kind of automatic vehicle starter which kills the engine when a random attempt is make to move the car.

Staffing is increasing after losing 11 in the last 8 months.  We now have 62 sworn officers and 89 employees, total.
Our speaker this month was Lt. Joanne Sellner, Metro Transit Police.  Metro Transit is an agency of the State of Minnesota, that is responsible for public transportation in an 8 county area; the area is divided into East and West  Commands, with the River as the dividing line.  As it has regional authority, it can over-ride local authorities.  The agency was established in 1993 by State Statute 473.407.  This was amended in 2008 giving the MTPD the authority to take law enforcement action on events that are not transit-related.  As things stand, an initial arrest is done by the Transit Police unless the local officers are told otherwise.  Investigation, in contrast, is the responsibility of the local officers unless they authorize the MTPD to investigate.  The same rule applies to both arrests and investigations – if it’s a crime related to Transit, MTPD should be handling it. The difference is that it’s easier to assign the appropriate agency after the initial information has been collected and the crime scene is under control.
The MTP has grown in the last 4 years, from 68 to 112  full time officers, from 62 to  100 part time officers.  They have 12 Community Service Officers, and 12 administrative positions.  However they are still short-staffed with only 0.4 officers for every 1000 passenger rides (contrast with MPD at 2.18 officers per 1000 residents and SPPD with 2.05 officers per 1000 residents).  They also have 6 K-9s trained for explosive detection.  A special team is skilled in crash reconstruction.

Increasingly, Metro Transit Officers are a first point of contact for many of the poor, the ill, the homeless who need social services of all kinds.  Many social agencies hand out Metro Transit free passes to their clients so they can travel from one agency to another.  If they have a crisis on the bus or train, it’s a Metro Transit officers who are likely to have the responsibility to take charge of the situation and get the individual into the service stream.  Transit authorities also have the responsibility  to provide safe and secure transportation for large groups of people after a large scale disaster or a mass arrest.  Finally, the Mpls Public Schools use Metro Transit passes to replace a lot of big orange bus service.

Q&A:
Cold Weather Protocol:  Don’t kick people off.    If someone  is causing problems, drivers have a direct line on the bus to request help, and passengers can also phone 911.  The response is faster if the driver reports, but the driver, of course, also has his hands full of “bus”.  If you see something, say something.  the MTP has about 150 calls/day but most are very low level.  Perhaps 20/day pertain to assault/fight/property crimes.  MTC knows which crimes to expect on what routes and at which stops.
MPS Student Transport: In general this goes well.  The MTP used video training which helped a lot, showing youth what to expect and what is expected of them.  It does put a lot of kids in a vulnerable position, and the MTP has taken precautions to minimize risk to this group.
Crash Reconstruction:  The dept now has 15 technical crash investigators and 5 reconstruction experts.  Note that when trains hit people or bicycles, this is NOT considered a “motor vehicle” incident.
Reporting incidents:  When you call to report something, observe and stay on the line.  Note if it was one or more people, where they acted, what direction they went,  and if on foot, by car or bus?  What they were wearing including hat cap, hoodie, colors, jeans, pants, skirt   Always try to see shoes because people may change their clothes but most won’t  change their shoes.   Height, build, skin color, hair color, and anything else that completes a picture.
Final thought from Lt. Sellner:  This is your community.  If you want crime to stop YOU have to help.
Contact Lt. Sellner  at 612.349.7265; (CELL) 612.290.4238, or joanne.sellner@metrotransit.org
COURTWATCH:  Osman Amin, new trespass on 12-23, arraignment on 1-25-17.  Jerome Darkow, 1-17-17 probation violation hearing.  Kevin Foster, found incompetent, next hearing in April.  Danel Heacock, next competency evaluation is 2/28/17.Jared Jovanovich,  in custody in Anoka, Hennepin issues come after Anoka’s.  Curtis Laroque,  in custody at ACF  until 1/24/17.  Albert Moen has a bench warrant out.  Dae Nisell, also found incompetent, next competency evaluation is 4/4/17.  Michael Weston-Rose, open bench warrant.  Ashley Sage, progress:  she has resolved all her cases, pled guilt to 5th degree drug possession, on a 13-month stay 3 years probation,  and has been admitted to  the Eden Program, next hearing is 1/18/17.  Jason Tucker, release & on parole to 3/17/17.
Nothing new: Cody Corbin, Johnny Hall, Bryan Holmes, Ryan Pilarski,   Robert Schroeder.
Removed: James Lee Zaccardi, Michael James Zaccardi.
Old Business:  12-24 dinner recorded over 140 guests, but 4 head counts were blank so probably there were more.  This is very good for a Saturday 12-24 since many more restaurants are open on Saturdays despite the holiday.  Commercial donors to this event out-did themselves; people who donated their time before, during and after the event were equally generous .  We also received cash donations from  some wonderful people.  If you have ideas for improvements, want to nominate new places to request  for contributions  offer personal time, or have any other suggestions, contact Emilie.  We always want to keep the event fresh.
New Business:  we’re looking for people who were involved with this event in earlier years.  Does anyone have a list or memory of who the donors were 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30+ years ago?  We’d like to give loyal donors some recognition.
Next 2PAC meeting: February 13, 6PM at Monroe Village Apartments Community Room.  Our speaker will be Sgt. Chris Karakostas of the MPD Cold Cases Program.
It’s free and interesting.  Please join us.
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