January Report, Part 2

SECOND PRECINCT NEWS

The first news is that Inspector Loining will be retiring at the end of January.   He officially retires on January 30th.    He is out ill this evening, so we can’t give him our best wishes in person. 

Then, our next Inspector will be Sean McGinty, currently serving as Inspector of the Third Precinct.     His first day with us will be January 31.  I’ve invited Inspector McGinty to PAC for our February 14 meeting, so we’ll get to meet him then.  

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:   CPS Ali reporting.

Crime in the Precinct:   We are dealing with small things yielding big consequences.  With the cold weather, more people have been leaving their cars idling.  Last week, we had an Amber alert for a car stolen with a child in the back seat. The mother went in the store for a few minutes which triggered the theft and the Amber alert.   Fortunately, the child was found nearby in the abandoned car and returned unharmed to her family. 

Rashid continues to remind residents that if residents could/would stop offering the opportunity for people to commit “crimes of opportunity”, the Second Precinct crime statistics would fall by at least 50%.  The data supports that statement.  Small things can yield positive big consequences, too!  Turn off the car and take the keys with you, please!

One good statistic:  burglary has remained low for many months.
There is considerable pressure on officials to prosecute these carjackings and related violent crimes.  Residents of Minneapolis and the suburbs want to see consequences.
Atty Filardo reported that her office (Hennepin County Attorney) will come to 2-PAC or to neighborhood meetings to answer questions about the car-jackings and related crime.  Contact her at    sandra.Filardo@hennepin.us
QQ for Rashid:   You said burglaries are down.   Can you provide some context?  Are those burglaries of business or home burglaries? 
AA:  The reduction is in home burglaries and garage burglaries.  The cause right  now may be the cold weather, but the bigger reality is that a lot more people are working from home.   [EQ: thus reducing those crimes of opportunity, proving Rashid’s point.] 

Emilie commented that the burglary numbers tend to go up in SE Mpls when U of MN students return from winter break and discover items are missing from their apartments.   Nick chimed in that the UMPD sent messages to students (“Take your stuff with you”) and to property owners or managers to keep up surveillance.  He also commented that people concerned about package thefts can take advantage of Amazon and other companies’ package holding services.  [EQ: Office Max at the Quarry has such a service, and I’ve picked up an Amazon package at Rosedale(? or maybe HarMar) and liked the service]  Also: ask your neighbors to keep an eye open if they’re going to be working from home.
Rashid reminded us that usually, when students are coming back, Inspector Loining schedules a burglary suppression patrol.    That is an overtime patrol.   If we have the officers, they’ll be out there.  That is something the Inspector has always promoted, so he will try to find a way to make that work. 

Nick chimed in that UMPD is still supporting extra patrols in Dinkytown, Marcy-Holmes East/Stadium Village area, and now further into the WestBank neighborhood.
QQ:  Are there personal safety and defense classes in the area?AA: EQ:  I’m  stumped.   The Budo at Broadway and Stinson has closed.   Nick suggested the U of MN Rec. Center, which is available to U of MN Students, staff, alumni and a few other people.   If anyone has any suggestions about safety and defense classes nearby, please let us know.   Places like Eastside Neighborhood Services and the YMCA offer fitness classes  and agility classes (which can’t hurt), but not safety and awareness classes.   Ditto, for us greyheads, Silver Sneakers.     

12/24 BUFFET NEWS  Emilie Quast reporting

The 37th 2-PAC 12-24 10-hour buffet was held after all.   We got off to a late start for a number of reasons, but when we finally got our go-ahead, experience kicked in.

The volunteer who contacts most of our food donors reported she got a lot of encouragement from donors:  “That’s good news!”   “We were waiting for your call!”  and, most important:  “How much?”

Early on, a staunch Second Precinct supporter started making plans when he didn’t hear any announcement from us.   He is a restaurant owner so he knew how many kinds of trouble we might be having.   When I finally got to announce that we were giving it a try, Larry Ranallo offered us the use of his event center at the NE Moose, which he was going to use if we couldn’t offer the event.  This space offers safe seating distance for over 50 people at a time and it’s serviced by a professional kitchen staff who know what they’re doing.   Another real advantage is that Mr. Ranallo knows more first responders than I’ll ever meet, and he has their cell phone numbers.  

The result was that we logged 94 attenders (about half of a normal year), but many reported they had staff who couldn’t make it because of low staffing.   We sent take-outs to feed almost as many as showed up. 

Another positive result was that after regular volunteers heard that the event was NOT going to be held in the break room at the Precinct, several who had  first turned me down, said they’d be happy to help in the larger, better ventilated (and safer) room.
The final result was that we had more people than we would have had otherwise, and sent out food for again that many folks.  More important, on-duty First Responders were reminded they are appreciated.  

I have to add that I had a Covid test seven days later, and it was negative.   Additionally, none of the volunteers called me with bad news.  

The public Thank-You note appeared in the January  19 Northeaster, on page 7.   We hope you spend your eat-out dollars at the restaurants listed there.   That’s the best way to thank them for helping us support our Second Precinct.  

In that issue, you will also find Inspector Loining’s year-to-date crime report, starting on page 1.   That chart shows how 2021 (through Dec. 6)  compared  with the same period for the previous three years.   It’s very interesting!  Check  https://www.mynortheaster.com/wp-content/news-archives/220119Northeaster/#page=1

COURTWATCH

Probation Officer Ihrke stepped in and sent the following:  The  City Attorney’s office has been charging felony cases including 5 assaults,  3 burglaries, 1 crime in the family, 1 invasion of privacy, 1 charge of receiving and concealing, 1 robbery, 1 vehicle theft, related. 

That is a step ahead.   In December, Atty Okoronkwo had reported the City Attorney’s office was deciding which cases to charge,  so now the offenders have  been charged. 

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