May report, Part 1: Probation: what it is and how it works

The meeting began at 6:38 PM.    Eight people attending. 

Our speaker this month is Holly Ihrke, Probation Officer in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.   Her caseload is Felony/High Risk clients.

Adult Probation/Parole

Adult Field Service (Probation) works with courts, community, victims and clients.   The goal of Probation or Parole is to offer clients the support and opportunities they need if they are to return as good neighbors in their community.

Probation Officers supervise clients in the community after they leave jail.  This is in contrast to Parole Officers who provide transitional services for clients leaving state prisons.

NOTE: Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation, Adult Field Services includes Parole Officers as well as Probation Officers.   Parole Officers supervise Hennepin County residents returning to the community from prisons.   Other counties/jurisdictions rely on the State Dept. of Corrections to supervise parole for people coming out of prison

Ms Ihrke will describe the work of Adult Field Services from client intake through results:  

  • Probation order
  • Probation officer role
  • Client rehabilitation
  • Probation violations
  • Client’s transition to “Good Neighbors”

Probation order:  a probation order is a court order setting out the rules a prisoner must obey if they do not want to serve their full sentence in jail or prison.   Probation may be offered to people who qualify, based on state sentencing guidelines.The terms of probation may include directives to seek help with an addiction or behavior problem, to hold a job, or other directives.  The goal is to provide opportunities and support  for rehabilitation.

Before a defendant is released from jail, pretrial probation officers must evaluate them to write a recommended probation order.

  • Probation officers begin their evaluations by compiling a suspect’s criminal history, drawing data from local and national databases.  Each event – felony or misdemeanor — receives a score in points or half points.  Some felonies are one point, some are half a point; misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors are scored separately. 
  • Once the person is convicted of their offence, this tally is compared with sentencing guidelines, also called presumptive sentencing.  From this, the Office can estimate what an appropriate penalty might be for that person.  
  • When these guidelines are compared with the severity of the crime that was committed and the individual’s criminal history, counsel can determine the presumptive sentence.   Some of the presumptive sentences point to probation and some point to incarceration.   There is always a possibility of departure from the presumptive sentence and that can go upward or down.
  • “Standard Probation Conditions” are rules that apply to everyone on probation.  For example, a person on felony probation can only leave the state with a travel permit, must notify their P.O. if they change their address, get a new charge, have contact with law enforcement, and a number of other conditions. 
  • A person guilty of a misdemeanor will have a set of conditions appropriate to the level of their offense. 
  • There are also Special Conditions based on risk/needs

Probation Officer Role:   Agent of the Court.

  • They are the “Eyes and Ears” of the Court.
  • They are Agents of Change, trying to address their clients’ needs and the barriers that may hold those clients back from changing their lives.
  • They offer their clients support to achieve needed changes in their lives.  
  • If clients are lacking intrinsic motivation to make ordered changes and are disregarding the parameters set by the court, Parole Officers can use court directives to notify the court of noncompliance by filing a probation violation report.

Probation Officer Role:   Community support. 

          The other side of Parole Officers’ responsibility is to support the community by making sure their clients are following the parameters set by the Court.

Client Rehabilitation – The big part of the Parole Officer’s job.

  • Risk/Needs assessment:  When someone is convicted of a crime and after bail evaluation is complete, one of the first contacts with Adult Field Service is with a pre-sentence investigation Probation Officer.  
  • They participate in an interview about areas including chemical dependency, criminal history, adverse childhood experiences, and many other “Risk/Needs” areas.  Those are scored. 
  • If there is a significant chemical dependency issue, they’ll be put on random testing or complete chemical dependency evaluation.  
  • If there are mental health concerns, we will add a mental health concern.
  • They may be ordered to “Sentence to Service”, which is a county-run community service, in lieu of doing time, or as a stand-alone condition of probation which they must complete. 
  • Other clients may need domestic violence programming, DWI programming, and programs in other areas that are evidence-based needs.
  • Community Resources: the offices try to connect clients to needed services in their home communities as much as possible.   Programs in the Second Precinct include Eastside Neighborhood Services, Central Avenue Neighborhood Clinic, various other chemical dependency treatment programs.
  • Probation officers use evidence-based practices like Motivational Interviewing, Workforce Development, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy classes, and cognitive behavioral interventions.     These are strength-based communication and motivational techniques.
  • The program has specific Contact Standards that are reflective of the risks identified in the risk/needs assessment.  The score a client was assigned in the R/N assessment determines how often the client will meet with their P.O.    The range of scores is 1 to 36.   Each P.O. is assigned to a case load based on clients’ scores, as Low, Medium, or High risk of recidivism.

Probation violations:

  • Conditions-Based response – Failure to comply with court-ordered conditions.    If a person’s condition of release is to complete chemical dependency treatment, but they are continuing to use, we’ll report that person is not committed to sobriety.  If they get a new charge or conviction, we will recommend a new sanction.
  • New sanctions – sometimes includes time in custody.  A new sanction may include reporting to the workhouse for anything between 45 and 365 days.   If it is their second or third violation, their probation may be revoked and they will have to complete their sentence in a Dept. of Corrections State Prison.  
  • Inform the courts – Eyes and ears of the courts.    The primary duties of a Probation and Parole Officer are to keep the courts involved AND to help their clients overcome their barriers. 

Clients to “Good Neighbors” – The overarching goal of probation is to help folks transition into being good neighbors and community members.  

Creating foundations of support — Finding support for people to turn to when they need a boost over a barrier is the biggest thing.

Because

Probation isn’t forever.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

Minneapolis MN 55418

e-quas@umn.edu

May Report, Part 2: State of the Precinct, Courtwatch

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

Summary of Crime statistics for last 28 days, (04/10/22-05/08/22) compared  with same in 2021

2022 2021

Assault           63   up  from       60   (incl. domestic agg.aslt. 4, down from 7)

Burg, B&E      30  down from    46  AND down from the 3 year average

Vandalism       66  up from        49

Homicide           0                        0

Larceny/theft  228  up from     192

M.V. Theft         60 up from        49

Robbery              7 down from   25 (incl carjacking 1, down from 4)

Sex offenses       8 up from         2

Stolen prop.        1 down from     2 

Weapon law violations **     9  up from         8

Shots fired calls  22 up from       14

Gunshot wounds  5  up from         2

** Weapons law violation — Atty. Okoronkwo explained that this is just a broad violation definition:  a person has a gun who is not supposed to have one in their possession for any of a number  of reasons.   They may have a prior conviction or may have committed a domestic assault.  From Ms Ihrke:  a felon is not supposed to possess a gun. 

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:  Lt. Nelson reporting:

We have 16 people completing their Field Training by the end of June, so they’ll be ready to work independently.   They’ve done their 5-months of on-the-job training with their field officer.     We have ten more who are starting their Field Training. 

You may have read that the MN State Patrol and the BCA will be working some high visibility patrols through the summer. They will be working mostly on the North Focus Zone in the 4th Precinct and the South Focus Zone on Lake Street from Hiawatha to 35W, plus the area between Nicollet and Hennepin Avenues. Check Tiny URL  https://tinyurl.com/226jktk3

MPD will still respond to 911 calls. 

The MPD offered 5 listening sessions to hear what residents want in the next Police Chief.   Here’s a brief summary of the program:  https://tinyurl.com/ntwu62bf

Spring Jam was quiet for several reasons, including the weather.   It was 39 degrees and raining.  EQ: Also, there were several comments in the Minnesota Daily about having bands that were bigger draws in other years.

Art-A-Whirl is coming this month in the NE Arts quarter of Minneapolis.  It’s May 20-22 and here’s a map:  https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl/art-a-whirl-map/

COURTWATCH

  P.O. Ihrke reported charges filed from 2nd Precinct incidents:

  • 9 felony assaults,
  • 1 burglary,
  • 1 felony traffic incident (fleeing)
  • 1 obscenity
  • 2 robberies.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council

e-quas@umn.edu


April report, Part 1 (shorter form) CSI Minneapolis !

MPD 2-PAC April report, Part 1: CSI: Minneapolis!
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 with 13 attenders.
Shay Sward and Emily Bakken presented “Minneapolis Police Department — Forensics Division”
WHAT IS THE FORENSICS DIVISION?
The Division includes Lab Administrators, Forensic scientists and technicians, and support staff. Some members are civilians and others are sworn officers.

FORENSICS DIVISION SECTIONS:
Video forensics is the scientific examination, comparison, and evaluation of video, for use in legal proceedings. Videos are obtained from: Businesses, Private residences Milestone cameras [EQ: City cameras, fixed and portable.] SafeZone cameras.

Computer forensics is the examination of digital media to provide factual data in an investigation …. This may include examination of cell phones, tablets, hard drives, flash media optical discs.

Firearms and toolmark examination – Firearms may be examined to determine distance fired and more. Serial numbers can be restored. Casings marks are entered into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System or IBIS, and are held to compare with other casings in the database

Field operations
Forensic garage: Vehicles are checked for latent prints, DNA, hidden compartments, potential mechanical problems, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) changes, bullet trajectory.
MAFIN/AFIS [EQ: Midwest Automated Fingerprint Identification-Network/Automated Fingerprint Identification System]:
This is database used to identify new prints with prints already in the database.

Field operations: the 24/7 response for crime scene documentation: Includes photographs, videos, and sketches of the scene. Scene processing is gathering physical evidence, latent prints, footwear & tire track impressions, DNA, Bloodstain pattern.

Crime scenes: The office responds to Robberies, Burglaries, Criminal sexual conduct, Deceased on arrival (DOA), Search warrants, Shootings, Homicides, Officer-involved shootings.

Crime scenes:
Gather statements from officers, witnesses & victims. Walk through looking for evidence which is labeled with markers and located on the sketch. Begin documentation.

Video is used for homicides, officer-involved shootings, and critical incidents. A walk-through of the scene allows viewers to get a sense of what the scene looked and sounded like when the lab got there. Processing is done as close to the incident time as possible.

Sketch: Used for homicides, officer-involved shootings, and critical incidents
Used to place evidence and get spatial representation in the context of the scene. Rough sketch done at the scene to mark evidence location.
Scene processing performed by Field Operations includes collection of DNA, blood, semen, saliva, footwear & tire track, bloodstain pattern documentation.

Additional search tools can be utilized following the visual search:
Metal detector,
ALS [alternate light sources] Using ALS (generally ultraviolet light) investigators can locate identify fluids like semen, urine, and saliva which have natural fluorescent properties.

FINGERPRINTS:The skin on the inside surface of your fingers has ridges and furrows that help you grip items. This is called friction ridge skin.
A “fingerprint” is the tracing of this pattern of friction ridges and furrows left when natural skin oil is deposited on an item you grip.
Two facts about fingerprints make them the ideal for identifying people:No two people (including identical twins) have identical prints, and
Friction ridge skin is persistent throughout life.
Print Processing: Fingerprints may offer any of three types of impression. They may be latent (only visible after processing), or “patent” visible without processing, or “plastic”, visible on a surface that retained a print impressed on it. [Pictures shown on video.]

Latent Print Processing: processing to enhance detail that can’t normally be seen. Adds contrast and preserves prints. The processing technique is determined by the surface type and transfer medium.
Latent print processing techniques:
Powder dusting: Powder particles adhere to the moisture/solids of the print. Superglue fuming: Fumes from heated super glue adhere to objects in the heat chamber. Chemicals: different surfaces are processed with specific chemicals.

Biggest misconception is that fingerprints WILL be present if the item was handled by a suspect. This isn’t true; contributing factors include: The composition of the item being handled. The person handling the item — the natural oils left behind by a person are analyzed for ID. The environment may preserve or corrupt fingerprints

ACE-V methodology: Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, Verification
This is the checklist checklist technicians keep in mind when doing their analysis for reports.

Fingerprint examination involves identifying the increasingly tiny differences that make each fingerprint unique.

Level 1: Pattern types – Three descriptors based on the presence or absence of “deltas”, described as the “divergence of two ridges”. It is named for the Greek letter, Delta, symbolized by a triangle. [EQ: Think of the top of the triangle where the two sides spread apart to meet the base.]
A finger print may have arches (no delta = 5% of the population), loops (one delta = 65%) or whorls (2 deltas = 30%)
Level 2: Minutia points – details found within the fingerprint patterns including ridge endings (the ridge stops), shorts (tiny ridge segment) and bifurcation (a very narrow delta-like form that extends as parallel lines, in contrast with deltas which are not parallel lines)Level 3: Creases, pores, irregular line shapes, incipient ridges, warts, scars. It’s apparent at this level, why everyone’s fingerprint is theirs, alone.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Lab is a collection of lab spaces and specialized appliances including chemical hoods, heat chambers, and more.

In addition to Fingerprint Analysis, Forensics involves
Toxicology, the study of toxins and drugs. Anthropology: the study of skeletal remains. Pathology: determining the cause of death. Entomology: study of insects. Odontology: dental evidence. Serology: study of body fluids. Bloodstain pattern analysis.
Document examination: study of questioned documents. Accounting: examination of financial records to uncover financial crimes.

Case Study — homicide stabbing

Photos of a crime scene beginning with an exterior photo of a house, point of entry (smashed kitchen window), several photos show blood spatters and evidence of struggle in kitchen and living room, non identifying photos of the victim as she was found.

The photos show what kinds of processing the lab could do: latent prints, blood spatter, DNA,The team actually processed the following items for latent prints: storm door, porch door, main door, kitchen drawer, window and table, microwave & stand, kitchen phone, hallway walls, Latent prints were found on a cabinet door, a phone, and a hallway wall. Latent prints were found on the front door. Blood-like traces were found on a plastic shopping bag, a knife, credit cards, a newspaper.

The outcome of this case: A latent print from the hallway was entered into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System [MAFIN/AFIS referenced above] and they got a match. Additional latent prints from the window and the phone match the same suspect. At the same time, a father turned his son in for having items that belonged to the victim. Based on the fingerprints collected at the scene, this person was positively identified as the suspect.

Thanks for solid work go to the MPD Forensics Division!

QUESTIONS:
QQ: Do you coordinate with other agencies?
AA: We only do fingerprints in our lab. Anything we swab, we send on to others. We have a good connection with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. We work with the FBI often, also.
QQ: Printed guns: do they leave the same kinds of marks on a casing as a regular gun?
AA: They may, but they can only be used once, so you wouldn’t get a hit in the database. You COULD get a fingerprint, though.
QQ: Can a fingerprint suggest the age of a person?
AA: The size of a print might — a small print might indicate a juvenile. A print can age though. With chemical enhancement we might be able to bring something up.

QQ: What surfaces yield the best prints?
AA: Plastic grocery bags are good sources if we put them in a superglue chamber. In general, any non-porous surface is good like glass or tile. We can get prints from porous surfaces like wood or paper though.
QQ: Can you change your own fingerprints?
AA: People try, but don’t succeed. At first their attempts give them a really distinctive print, and eventually the original pattern of ridges re-emerges.

QQ: How do you take shoe prints?
AA: It’s not that different. We start with photos and can go on to take a cast.
QQ: How many personnel are assigned to a scene?
AA: We have three shifts a day, so 5 or 6 people-in a 24-hour period. Each shift must have 2 on duty, to respond at 2 on a call.

Bakken wanted to expand to the question of staffing.
While most staff either started out as officers or follow the path of Bachelor’s-Degree-to-training-program-to-test, other staff members come from a variety of backgrounds. The forensic artist, for example, took a very different path to Forensics.
EQ: I found two relevant websites on this meeting’s topic: Inside MPD titled “A Look Into the MPD Crime Lab” was produced by the MPD for National Forensic Science Week 2020 The Facebook video is at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1501531263391243
and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSI:_Crime_Scene_Investigation

Emilie Quast, Board member
MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)
e-quas@mn.edu

April Report, Part 1: CSI: Minneapolis!

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 with 13 attenders.

Shay Sward and Emily Bakken presented “Minneapolis Police Department — Forensics Division”

WHAT IS THE FORENSICS DIVISION?

The Division includes Lab Administrators, Forensic scientists and technicians, and support staff.   Some members are civilians and others are sworn officers.  

Qualifications for becoming a Forensic Scientist 1 are:

Bachelor’s degree in a qualified science or in criminal justice,

2-year training program focused on crime scene processing and fingerprint analysis   [EQ: people in the field now refer to this as “friction ridge analysis and comparison] 

3-part examination including a written text, latent print analysis and comparison exam, and evaluation of 10 crime scene photographs.

FORENSICS DIVISION SECTIONS:

Video forensics is the scientific examination, comparison, and evaluation of video,  for use in legal proceedings.  The goals are image and audio analysis for identification of suspects (by physical comparisons and clothing comparisons) and vehicle descriptions.   

Videos are obtained from:

  • Businesses
  • Private residences
  • Milestone cameras [EQ: these are City cameras, fixed and portable.  A look at the company shows they provide broad service so Minneapolis may have more Milestone products in use than the street cameras: https://www.milestonesys.com/]
  • SafeZone cameras.   [EQ:  2-PAC was introduced to the Safe Zone concept by former CM Steve Fletcher.   The program is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Downtown Improvement District; it now encompasses 120 blocks.  FFI:  See https://courtwatch2pac.com/2019/03/20/march-2-pac-report-part-1/   and Google “Minneapolis Safe Zone” and  was reported   throughout the city.] 

Computer forensics is the examination of digital media to provide factual data in an investigation, which may or may not provide evidence of illegal activity.  This may include examination of cell phones, tablets, hard drives, flash media optical discs.

Firearms and toolmark examination

  • Firearms may be examined and compared to determine firearm proximity from the target and function testing.  Obliterated serial numbers can be restored.
  • Discharged cartridge casings are entered into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System or IBIS.   The marks and data are held for comparison with other casings in the database, and may become part of ballistic evidence in a case.

Field operations

Forensic garage: Here vehicles involved in criminal activity will be examined to find latent prints, DNA, hidden compartments, potential  mechanical problems, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) changes, bullet trajectory.
MAFIN/AFIS  [EQ: Midwest Automated Fingerprint Identification-Network/Automated Fingerprint Identification System]:

This is a computerized network that compares a series of plotted points on a fingerprint with prints in a database of known  prints.

  • Latent entry: a print is searched against a database of known prints.   Minutiae points are identified and plotted.   These points and other identification marks will be discussed later.  
  • Reverse searches are when a suspect’s prints are compared with stored latent prints. 

Field operations:  the 24/7 response to crime scenes including

  • Crime scene documentation:  Includes creating photographs, video, sketches of the scene.
  • Crime scene processing:  Gathering physical evidence, latent prints, footwear & tire track impressions, DNA, Bloodstain pattern documentation
  • Evidence collection

Examination and comparison of latent prints. 

Assist the medical examiner’s office in making identifications.

Crime scenes: The office responds to Robberies, Burglaries, Criminal sexual conduct, Deceased on arrival (DOA), Search warrants, Shootings, Homicides, Officer-involved shootings.

Crime scenes: 

What do we know so far?

Statements from officers, witnesses & victims.

Scene walkthrough:

Initial search for items of interest

Evidence labeled with evidence markers

Search Points of entry and exit, any disturbed areas

Begin documentation.   [Photos shown on the presentation video show a set of 3 pictures locating the big scene of a street storm drain with numbered casings,  a mid-distance photo of a casing with a number tag next to the storm sewer grill, and a close up showing the tag and the casing.] 

Additional Documentation

Video:  Used for homicides, officer-involved shootings, and critical incidents

Walk-through of the scene from beginning to the end

Allows  viewers to get a sense of what the scene looked and sounded like at the time of our processing

Done as close to the incident time as possible.

Sketch:  Used for homicides, officer-involved shootings, and critical incidents

Used to place evidence and get spatial representation in the context of the scene

Rough sketch done at the scene using approximate measurements

Measurements taken to fixed landmarks

Final sketch done using GPS satellite images or drawn with a computer program.

Scene processing:

Evidence processing performed by Field Operations:

Latent impression

Biological evidence collection: DNA, blood, semen, saliva

Footwear & tire track collection

Firearms collection

Trace evidence collection (including hairs and fibers), bloodstain pattern documentation.

Additional search tools can be utilized following the visual search:

Metal detector,

ALS [alternate light sources]  Using ALS (generally ultraviolet light) investigators can locate identify fluids like semen, urine, and saliva which have natural fluorescent properties.

FINGERPRINTS:

The skin on the inside surface of your fingers has ridges and furrows that  help you grip items.   This is called friction ridge skin.

A “fingerprint” is the tracing of this pattern of friction ridges and furrows left when oil is deposited on an item you grip.

Two facts about fingerprints make them the ideal for identifying people:

No two people (including identical twins) have identical prints, and

Friction ridge skin is persistent throughout life.  

Print Processing:   Fingerprints may offer any of three types of impression.   They may be latent (only visible after processing), or “patent” visible without processing, or “plastic”, visible on a surface that retained a print impressed on it.  [Pictures shown on video.]

Latent Print Processing:  processing to enhance detail that can’t normally be seen.  Adds contrast and preserves prints.   The processing technique is determined by the surface type and transfer medium.  

Latent print processing techniques: 

Powder dusting: Powder particles adhere to  the moisture/solids of the print

Superglue fuming:  Fumes from heated super glue adhere to objects in the heat chamber

Chemicals:  different surfaces are processed with specific chemicals.  

Biggest misconception is that fingerprints WILL be present if the item was handled by a suspect.   This isn’t true; contributing factors include:  

           The composition of the item being handled.

           The person handling the item — the natural oils left behind by a person are analyzed for ID.

The environment may preserve or corrupt fingerprints

[EQ: Pictures of treated fingerprints are presented on the YouTube video.] 

ACE-V methodology:  Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, Verification

This is the checklist checklist technicians keep in mind when doing their analysis for reports.

Fingerprint examination involves identifying the increasingly tiny differences that make each fingerprint unique.

Level 1: Pattern types – Three  descriptors based on the presence or absence of “deltas”, described as the “divergence of two ridges”.   It is named for the Greek letter, Delta, symbolized by a triangle.   [EQ:  Think of the top of the triangle where the two sides spread apart to meet the base.]   

A finger print may have arches (no delta = 5% of the population), loops (one delta = 65%) or whorls (2 deltas = 30%)

Level 2: Minutia points  – details found within the fingerprint patterns including ridge endings (the ridge stops), shorts (tiny ridge segment) and bifurcation (a very narrow delta-like form that extends as parallel lines, in contrast with deltas which are not parallel lines)

Level 3: Creases, pores, irregular line shapes, incipient ridges, warts, scars.    It’s apparent at this level, why everyone’s fingerprint is theirs, alone. 

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Lab is a  collection of lab spaces and specialized appliances including chemical hoods, heat chambers, and more. [EQ: pictures in the video.]

In addition to Fingerprint Analysis, Forensics involves

Toxicology, the study of toxins and drugs

Anthropology: the study of skeletal remains

Pathology: determining the cause of death

Entomology: study of insects

Odontology: dental evidence

Serology: study of body fluids

Bloodstain pattern analysis

Document examination: study of questioned documents

Accounting:  examination of financial records to uncover financial crimes.

Case Study — homicide stabbing

Photos of a crime scene beginning with an exterior photo of a house, point of entry (smashed kitchen window), several photos show blood spatters and evidence of struggle in kitchen and living room, non identifying photos of the victim as she was found.   [EQ: see these on the YouTube video]

The photos show what kinds of processing the lab could do:  latent prints, blood spatter, DNA,

The team actually processed the following items for latent prints:  storm door, porch door, main door, kitchen drawer, window and table, microwave & stand, kitchen phone, hallway walls,      Latent prints were found on a cabinet door, a phone,  and a hallway wall. Latent prints were found on the front door.   Blood-like traces were found on a plastic shopping bag, a knife, credit cards, a newspaper. 

The outcome of this case:  A latent print from the hallway was entered into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System [MAFIN/AFIS  referenced above] and they got a match.   Additional latent prints from the window and the phone match the same suspect.   At the same time, a father turned his son in for having items that belonged to the victim.  Based on the fingerprints collected at the scene, this person was positively identified as the suspect. 

Thanks for solid work go to the MPD Forensics Division!

QUESTIONS:

QQ: Do you coordinate with other agencies>

AA:  We only do fingerprints in our lab.  Anything we swab, we send on to others.   We have a good connection with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.    We work with the FBI often, also.

QQ:  Printed guns:  do they leave the same kinds of marks on a casing as a regular gun?

AA:  They may, but they can only be used once, so you wouldn’t get a hit in the database.  You COULD get a fingerprint, though.

QQ: Can a fingerprint suggest the age of a person?

AA: The size of a print might — a small print might indicate a juvenile.   A print can age though.  With chemical enhancement we might be able to bring something up.

QQ: What surfaces yield the best prints?

AA: Grocery bags are  good sources if we put them in a superglue chamber.   In general, any non-porous surface is  good like glass or tile.  We can get prints from porous surfaces like wood or paper though.

QQ: Can you change your own fingerprints?

AA:  People try, but don’t succeed.  At first their attempts give them a really distinctive print, and eventually the original pattern of ridges re-emerges. 

QQ: How do you take shoe prints?

AA:  It’s not that different.   We start with photos and can go on to take a cast.

QQ: How many personnel are assigned to a scene?

AA: We have three shifts a day, so 5 or 6 people-in a 24-hour period.   Each shift must have 2 on duty, to respond at 2 on a call.

Bakken wanted to expand to the question of staffing.  
While most staff either started out as officers or follow the path of Bachelor’s-Degree-to-training-program-to-test, other staff members come from a variety of backgrounds.   The forensic artist, for example, took a very different path to Forensics.

EQ:  I found two relevant websites on this meeting’s topic:   Inside MPD titled “A Look Into the MPD Crime Lab” was produced by the MPD for National Forensic Science Week 2020  The  Facebook video is at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1501531263391243 

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSI:_Crime_Scene_Investigation–

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@mn.edu

April Meeting, part 2: State of the Precinct and Courtwatch

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

CRIME STATISTICS, March 15-April 10, 2022, compared with 2021, and trend

Assault                         61       68    DOWN

     Incl. Dom.Aslt.          5      16     WAY DOWN

Burgl (Incl. B&E)          25      30     DOWN

Vandalism                    59      43     UP

Homicide                       0        1      DOWN

Larceny/Theft             188    139     WAY UP

M.V. Theft                     40      33     UP

Robbery                        15     16     DOWN

     Incl C.Jacking            7       7     —-

Sex Offenses                  3       8    DOWN

Stolen Property               6      4    UP

Weapons Law Violations 4      5   DOWN

Gun Violence, March 15-April 10, 2022, compared with 2021, and trend

Gunshot wound victims    0       2  DOWN

Shots fired calls              27     24  UP     This is a soft number.  1 shot may be

                                                                 reported by many people.

Hennepin County arrests and warrants for March:

   Officers made 69 arrests.

    60 felonies were charged.   

    60% of those new felonies were by people on probation 

Questions about events and issues:

Doughnut drivers closed an intersection in Dinkytown (4th and 14th?)  A video came up on the Facebook site, 2nd Precinct Crimewatch.

Two questions:  How do you stop that?    and,  What is typical police response.

Lt. Nelson responded: 

Agreed that these are not students.   These cars are typically $75,000 Dodge Chargers with a special engine.  The people who do it sometimes post in advance on social media.   Right now, police response is to get ahead of the drivers, so there are squads with lights going when they show up.  This may be enough for some to just keep on going.   MPD is partnering with other agencies, including the Highway Patrol, to have a bigger presence as a deterrent.

This is not a Minneapolis issue.   This is nation-wide.  Inspector McGinty and Lt. Nelson are conferring with other places to see how other communities are responding.    ln California, the law is that a first offense gets the driver a ticket and fine.   The second offense in a “certain amount of time” (which may be as long as five years) will get you another ticket and the vehicle will be confiscated. 

We’re asking legislators to put something on the books so law enforcement has better tools to use.

Driving doughnuts is dangerous in several ways.  Bystanders get too close trying to get a photo or video and get hit by the heavy vehicle.   We had two incidents last summer, one in North Minneapolis and another in the 3rd Precinct, of people firing guns.   Two people died.  

QQ: Do these cars have plates?   Can you use that to trace the cars?

AA:  If they’re from out of state, they probably won’t have front plates.   If they are Minnesota cars, we can find the owners but that does not mean the owner is driving the car.  

QQ: Can that be made a civil offense?   If someone parks my car illegally and it gets ticketed, I’m responsible  for that ticket.   Wouldn’t that help?

AA: City Okoronkwo responded that the city used to do a lot of charging in cases where (usually) an adult child would run up a number of  charges driving the parent’s car, so the parent was held responsible.   This became a burden on the owner who needed that car to get to a job, but could lose their job with no car.  This is why the city stepped back from those cases.   The county still does some level of forfeiture for felony level cases.

EQ:  If someone is starting a petition to support  confiscation of the vehicle, I’ll be happy to post  an announcement. 

Crime in the 2nd Precinct  

Lt Nelson reported that they have extra patrol  from late afternoon to midnight to combat car jackings especially in Marcy-Holmes and Central-Lowry.  She’s asked the Inspector to continue that extra patrol through the end of May.  There are fewer carjackings, robbery and burglary.   (EQ NOTE:  that was not apparent on my report shown above which covered a slightly earlier time period.   I looked again on 4/18 and the numbers are down, just as she said. My error.)  

The spring hockey plans were completed (unfortunately not needed) but Spring Jam is coming up.   We will be working in cooperation with the UMPD so the 2nd Precinct is ready for that.   We’ve cancelled days off for all three shifts.   This is more of a dog watch concern, but day watch will be prepared also.    We want people to celebrate, but we also want them to be safe while they’re celebrating. 

Recruitment:   A new class of CSOs (Community Service Officers) is coming through (29 people)  This program is a source of more staff diversity.  It’s aimed at people who are through high school or just starting college.   They get help with college tuition and have a chance to learn what police work is like.   This is huge because CSOs free officers from critical tasks like moving supplies, taking squads in for servicing and then retrieving them.   They are shifted to different assignments every four to six months.   They may move from a precinct into an investigative unit, transporting property (but not evidence) from Point A to Point B help people get their property back.  They may help with rudimentary investigative tasks. 

Recruits and Cadets are also coming in.   Recruits are people who are already  post-license. Cadets are people who are making a career change switching from a non-linear program (like chemistry) to police work.

[EQ: Good News!  I asked about staffing in the 2nd Pct, and we are up 5 people to 55.   Progress!]

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

CPS Ali came in with an answer to a question posed by a resident.  She had spotted 5 cars parked along the street near her home and all were missing license plates.   EQ sent the question on to our CPS

CPS: People are swapping out license plates from cars parked along the street with the plates on their own cars.   Most people never look at their own plates, so it may be a long time before you notice that the plate on your car is not your plate.   In the meantime,  an officer running your plate into the computer will not find your plate with a tag.

He suggested people can buy an anti-theft kit for their plates.   They are very inexpensive.  [EQ: Google: “car license plate anti-theft”   and you’ll get over 11 million hits, ranging in price from under $5 to as much as you want to spend for custom designed license plate frames.]   The simplest are special screws that will just spin if someone tries to remove it with a screwdriver.    Your goal is to slow the thieves down as much as possible.  In Minnesota, the DMV page says,  for damaged or stolen plates, “You will be required to pay a service fee of $8.50 and a replacement fee of $14.00 for double plates and $10.00 for a single plate.”   The benefit for the police is that your old number is no longer in the system, and officers can act on that information.  [EQ: on the video, you’ll hear me reporting much more expensive  — but obsolete — replacement rules.   The “old” way was full charge by DMV for each set.]

The CPS continued, if a person puts a stolen plate on his car and then robs a gas station, he knows his plate has been captured on the security cameras.   He then drives into a residential area (not many people on the street to spot him), takes a new plate off a different car,  swaps it with the plate on his car.    Most people don’t look at their plates so the owner of the vandalized car may not realize what’s happened for weeks. Now the plate thief can drive around town without worrying about someone spotting his “hot” plate.     This cycle can repeat over and over. 

QQ for CPS Ali:  1) Is there a program where we can have an anti theft device placed on your catalytic converter?    

  2)  We are always looking at ways we can all track crime, so we can make an impact moving together.  What suggestions do you have?

AA:  1)  There are neighborhoods  applying for grants to help residents get their anti-theft devices installed.  He is not sure if that is city-wide.    

2) Always try to eliminate crimes of opportunity.  We can reduce crime in the Second Precinct by 50% by eliminating those crimes

Be aware of your surroundings.  Secure your homes,  cars and garages.  Take expensive things out of the car when you leave it.   Park in your garage if you have one. 

COURTWATCH

Probation Officer Holly Ihrke reported on arrests and charges for March:  69 arrests   for warrants, trespassing, motor vehicle tampering, burglary of dwelling. 10 felonies charged: 1 assault, 2 drug charges, 2 escape from custody, 1 homicide,  2 receiving or concealing stolen property, 1 robberies, 1 administration of justice. 

QQ:  Last month you talked about people “failing Probation”.   What happens then?  

AA:  60% of people on probation have their probation revoked, usually for failing to meet their requirements.  

When they’re sentenced, the term is set by sentencing guidelines.  Probation depends on the person meeting a set of agreements.   If they commit a new crime or don’t meet the conditions of probation, it’s up to the Probation Officer to determine the personal or public safety risk and inform the court.   The judge will then decide if they must go back to prison, return to treatment, or any of a variety of responses. 

P.O. Ihrke suggested a number of responses to probation that she’s heard from her clients, including people who prefer prison to probation.  At present, some of the court responses are less strict than other responses, depending on issues we didn’t go into.  [EQ: we’ll be hearing more about this in May.]

She also pointed out that there are opportunities for people to make a difference in their own lives, starting in prison.   These opportunities include education, job training and more.   Some people go to half-way houses which are intended to provide the same opportunities but in a structured environment, after prison.  Half-way houses  provide opportunities for education release, work release.  A new program being tested now is built on the hope that people will want to get out of prison early to receive training at Metropolitan Community and Technical College or a technical trade school.  The hope is that people will want to get out early to get that training.

Find the YouTube recording of this meeting here: 

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD 2nd Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

If you have a question about neighborhood safety and security trends or responses, write me at the above email address, and I’ll find someone who knows what the situation and the response are.

.  

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video CSI: Minneapolis.

March Report, Part 1 (short form) Behavioral Health Services in Hennepin County

Our speaker was Kate Erickson, a manager at Hennepin County in Behavioral Health.   Erickson has 20 years’ experience implementing services for those with needs related to mental health and substance use.  

The Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago is where first responders (including MPD officers), crisis counselors, family and friends can transport people who need immediate help from experienced providers of mental health and substance use services.  Hennepin County residents 18+ can walk-in to request advice or help for themselves.

The Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago comprises 3 floors over 102,000 square feet.  The first floor has walk-in and recovery-based services.  The second floor is a crisis residence.  The third floor focuses on withdrawal management. 

What the Behavioral Health Center is:

  • It is a Specialty Center for Hennepin County residents (18 years and over) who are living with a mental health or substance abuse disorder.
  • It is a “blended environment” with services offered by Hennepin County and contracted agencies. The contracted agencies providing services at this time within 1800 Chicago include American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC), ReEntry House Crisis Stabilization Services (REH), Rainbow Health, Hennepin Health Care Services (HHS), Mental Health Resource (MHR), and Change Healthcare. 
  • It is focused on improving a client’s quality of life by
  • Reducing unnecessary emergency room use,
  • Reducing unnecessary inpatient hospitalization,
  • Reducing unnecessary criminal justice involvement, and
  • Increasing access to community health supports

The second and third floor services permit entry by referral, only.  They are operated by partner organizations, the American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC), and  ReEntry House Crisis Stabilization Services (REH). 

The First floor is the Walk-In Center operated by Hennepin County Behavioral Health.  The teams working at this center include office support, case management assistants, social workers and care coordinators, peer recovery support specialists, a medical provider, a medical assistant, and supervisors.   It has 12 assessment rooms and two treatment rooms.  The Walk-In Center is for Hennepin County residents, 18 years and older, who have needs related to mental and chemical health. 

The Walk-In Center is open M-F, 9am to 5pm.   This will soon be expanded to longer shifts.  They expect to eventually be open 24/7.

Scope of Service:  The Walk-In Center provides triage, assessment, intervention, resources and referrals for

  • Mental health/behavioral health,
  • Chemical health or substance abuse disorder,
  • Medical health,
  • Health and wellness,
  • Basic needs, social services and community resources.

Services provided for persons with Mental Health/Behavioral Health issues include but are not limited to: coping strategies and resources for symptom management; scheduling a diagnostic assessment (DA); connecting to therapy, psychiatry or medication management; connecting to community-based mental health services; or coordinating case management referrals for long-term management and supports.

Services provided for persons living with Chemical Health or Substance Use Disorders follow the same pattern, including but not limited to: harm reduction assessment, information, and resources; overdose prevention discussion and training; connecting to community-based recovery supports; scheduling assessments and/or coordinating with treatment facilities; or connecting with Diversion & Recovery Team (DART) for individuals living with substance abuse disorder and experiencing homelessness who are interested in engaging in long-term support for recovery and healing.  

Services for people with Medical Health problems may be: evaluation and treatment of low acuity conditions; medical health education for symptom management; physical assessments; prescriptions; preventive health services; medical clearance; and basic wound care.

Services provided in the broader area of Health and Wellness may be: identifying primary care medical providers, connecting to optometry, dentistry, or sexual health providers; connecting to OB/GYN, pregnancy, or post-partum support; exploring resources for physical movement and nutrition; or connecting to wellness resources for recreation, spiritual connection, and social identity. 

Finally, if clients are looking for Basic Needs, Social Services and Community Resources, they may need referrals for food, clothing, ID, etc.; assistance in applying for insurance, food support, or financial assistance; referrals for vocational  support, waiver services, educational support, or domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy; assistance connecting with shelters, crisis residences, or coordinated entry for housing; or transportation, legal assistance, parenting, and other needs.

Erickson then presented a virtual tour of the  Behavioral Health Intake center on the first floor which you can see on the YouTube video of this meeting.   

The Behavioral Health Center sees itself as “filling in the middle space”.  If someone needs help, but does not have a hospital-level need, or is a public safety issue, this is a great place to start.  People who use the center are not dealing with a medical emergency, a mental health emergency or an overdose, which all require Emergency Room treatment or hospital admission.   Additionally, they must not have committed a crime that requires mandatory arrest and incarceration.   Finally a person must be approaching the Center willingly, that is,  without coercion of any kind. All the services are voluntary.

So  — How well does this work?   

The 2020-2021 data were compiled as a 6-month window looking back and another 6-month window looking forward.   Statistics showed:

  • a 14% reduction in emergency room use,
  • a 10% reduction in inpatient hospital admissions,
  • a 12% reduction in jail bookings,   
  • a 9% increase in community mental health support.

The data were gathered only during the timespan that clients were enrolled in this service.  Other data were gathered from Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office info. There is a limitation that this was a non-experimental design and changes may be due to a variety of factors.

In summary, when someone is in crisis they are suffering and need help right away.  There is no quick fix for any complex issue, including mental health and substance use needs but the process must begin.  It will be more efficient if a client has help navigating the system.  All services are voluntary; the center’s mantra is to meet people where they are at.   

If you or someone you know has needs related to mental health or substance use, the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago is a good place to start. 

Directions:

  • Behavioral Health Center
  • 1800 Chicago
  • Use the entrance off of Columbus
  • Enter the doors marked “Clinic and After Hours Entrance”
  • Open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • For afterhours, use the buzzers to access the crisis residence and withdrawal management

Erickson then shared a brief video that was actually made for law enforcement officers.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEaQ08tH5nk The MPD Sgt escorting a person to the center explains the procedure he uses. The point is made that the officer may issue a citation or not – it is the officer’s decision.   The Center is a place to bring someone who doesn’t need hospital-level care, and is not creating a public safety issue, but they do need a place where they can get help sorting things out.

The next video is aimed at social workers and is narrated by social workers.  Walk-in behavioral health support referrals – social workers – YouTube 

Erickson commented that if a person has a care team but has perhaps dropped out of touch with them, the Center will help them reconnect.  If the resident doesn’t have any services in place, the center gets the ball rolling right away, and stays connected with the resident until they are connected to services and supports.  On average, residents are working with the center for about a month while they are getting established in longer-term treatment and recovery support.  The center works at the resident’s pace.

The Center website is a source of all the current information you need. Go to: www.hennepin.us/1800-Chicago.  This is kept current; as hours (etc.) change, the correct info will be here.

In the middle of the screen, click on OPEN ALL and you’ll find a detailed list of the info Erickson has laid out in the recording.  The “Recovery Programs” section is particularly worth opening as it adds information about:

  • Diversion and Recovery Team (DART)
  • Project Child
  • Vocational Services Program (VSP)

QUESTIONS:

QQ How many professionals do you have working in that building?

ANSWER:  Erickson listed  the various professional classifications working there and pointed out that this is still an expanding program.  The three facilities have separate staff and two of them run four multiple shifts.  There are staff such as office support, case management assistants, social workers, senior social workers, advanced practice practitioners, medical assistants, registered nurses, and supervisors. 

QQ While the center serves all of Hennepin County, what about people who are farther out, like Eden Prairie, Rogers, Bloomington?  

ANSWER:  We are on a busline, which is good news.   Any law enforcement agency can provide transport and help people get in.   The system has an embedded social worker in many of the precincts, and the embedded social work program is expanding in 2022.  Additionally, if someone comes to us and needs reconnection with their health care provider, we’ll find them what service they need, be that a ride, a bus token, or a scheduled medical ride. 

QQ Do you work out in the community?  

Erickson pointed out that she is only going into detail on the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago, which is a site-based, walk-in service.  And yes, there are many other parts of Hennepin County Human Services working with the community, including but not limited to:

  • Cope – providing assistance for psychiatric emergencies through phone and in-person consultation
  • Downtown Improvement District Social Workers – engaging and connected residents to needed services and supports from the 120+ city blocks of downtown Minneapolis
  • Jail Diversion Social Workers – connected residents to services and supports to prevent unnecessary bookings
  • Homeless to Housing (H2H) – social workers assisting those experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Mental Health Center – provides therapy, psychiatry, diagnostic assessments, and medication management

QQ Is there a lot of turnover in staff. 

ANSWER:  Erickson has been in her current position for 14 months.  During that time, they have been building services and expanding staff.   People come in knowing what their jobs will be, and what responsibilities will look like.  These are people who want to be working on-site.  We’ve been lucky to find employees that want to be part of this.  Like so many agencies in the community now, some are having hiring challenges with overnight shifts, nursing and medical care, and higher level licensed employees.

QQ:  A new Mpls. resident commented she had no idea of the depth of services offered at 1800.   It seems like it’s all relatively new.  Is this more robust than it was?

ANSWER:  The Behavioral Center has gone through many iterations over the years.  We have plans to continue expanding access to these needed services.  The Behavioral Health Center is filling in the middle space, when a resident needs assistance, but doesn’t meet hospital-level criteria and it is not a public safety emergency.  Other states have called this a “stabilization center.”  We will be expanding the walk-in services to a 12-hour day, M-F 9am-9pm soon (website will included updated hours), and eventually into a 24/7 program. 

QQ:  How do you get the word out?

ANSWER: Traffic comes to us from a variety of sources including: law enforcement, EMS, Minneapolis BCR, mental health and substance use service providers, as a step-down from hospital-level care when emergent needs have been met; people are escorted to the facility by friends and family, and by resident/peers sharing their experience of receiving care in this center.  We have a communications team that shares out the website, video, social media, and earned media. [EQ:  You are strongly encouraged to share this report AND/OR the recording of the meeting, which is a YouTube video  https://youtu.be/K6fdIvdHn78   ]

At this point HC Attorney Okoronkwo and Probation Officer Ihrke stepped in to say thanks to Erickson and her teams for making their work easier to do and better for their clients.  

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

Attachments area

March report, part 1 (long form) Behavioral Health Services in Hennepin County

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC), March 14 meeting report.  10 attenders. 

Our speaker is Kate Erickson, a manager at Hennepin County in Behavioral Health.   Erickson has 20 years’ experience implementing services for those with needs related to mental health and substance use.   We asked her to introduce us to many of the vital services offered at the Behavioral Health Center located at 1800 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.  The Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago is an important place where first responders (including MPD officers), crisis counselors, family and friends can transport people who need immediate help from experienced providers of mental health and substance use services.  Hennepin County residents 18+ can walk-in to request advice or help for themselves.

While the City of Minneapolis has been engaged in many discussions about city services, new funding and defunding, restructuring, out-sourcing, and related topics, some residents began wondering what we really do have left out there.  

The Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago is a substantial building, comprising 3 floors over 102,000 square feet.  The first floor has walk-in and recovery-based services.  The second floor is a crisis residence.  The third floor focuses on withdrawal management. 

What the Behavioral Health Center is:

  • It is a Specialty Center for Hennepin County residents (18 years and over) who are living with a mental health or substance abuse disorder.
  • It is a “blended environment” with services offered by Hennepin County and contracted agencies. The contracted agencies providing services at this time within 1800 Chicago include American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC), ReEntry House Crisis Stabilization Services (REH), Rainbow Health, Hennepin Health Care Services (HHS), Mental Health Resource (MHR), and Change Healthcare. 
  • It is focused on improving a client’s quality of life by
  • Reducing unnecessary emergency room use,
  • Reducing unnecessary inpatient hospitalization,
  • Reducing unnecessary criminal justice involvement, and
  • Increasing access to community health supports

Taking it floor by floor:

The Third floor is for people going through withdrawal; it is operated by the American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC).   It is a 60-bed facility which provides detoxification and withdrawal management from alcohol and/or drugs.    It assists clients who want to connect with services  and support.   This floor is open 24/7.  As people arrive on their own, with family members or friends, or transported by EMS or Police, they are admitted at the Walk-In door on Columbus Avenue.  Within 72 hours of intake, a client will receive a comprehensive assessment to determine what treatment is needed for recovery support.  If an individual is ready to go to a substance use treatment provider, they can be transported, door-to-door.  An individual does not have to be ready to go to a different treatment center, “We meet people where they’re at.”

The Second floor is a Crisis Residence, operated by ReEntry House Crisis Stabilization Services (REH).   It is a 16-bed facility, which provides crisis stabilization for 3-10 days.  It assists clients in connecting to mental health services and supports.   It is always open, but requires pre-registration and screening to make sure this service can meet the person’s needs.    If it’s not a good fit, the Walk-In services on 1st floor can assist residents in finding other services and supports.

The First floor is the Walk-In Center operated by Hennepin County Behavioral Health.  It has 12 assessment rooms and two treatment rooms.  The Walk-In Center is for Hennepin County residents, 18 years and older, who have needs related to mental and chemical health.  Services provided include triage & assessment, meeting a client’s  immediate needs and then helping them connect with services that can provide on-going, meaningful support.   The Walk-In Center is open M-F, 9am to 5pm.    The teams working at this center include office support, case management assistants, social workers and care coordinators, peer recovery support specialists, a medical provider, a medical assistant, and supervisors.

Scope of Service:  The Walk-In Center provides triage, assessment, intervention, resources and referrals for

  • Mental health/behavioral health,
  • Chemical health or substance abuse disorder,
  • Medical health,
  • Health and wellness,
  • Basic needs, social services and community resources.

Outlining the scope of service for persons with Mental Health/Behavioral Health issues, the center provides triage, assessment, intervention, resources and referrals, including but not limited to: coping strategies and resources for symptom management; scheduling a diagnostic assessment (DA); connecting to therapy, psychiatry or medication management; connecting to community-based mental health services; or coordinating case management referrals for long-term management and supports.

Services provided for persons living with Chemical Health or Substance Use Disorders follow the same pattern, including but not limited to: harm reduction assessment, information, and resources; overdose prevention discussion and training; connecting to community-based recovery supports; scheduling assessments and/or coordinating with treatment facilities; or connecting with Diversion & Recovery Team (DART) for individuals living with substance abuse disorder and experiencing homelessness who are interested in engaging in long-term support for recovery and healing.  

Services for people with Medical Health problems may be: evaluation and treatment of low acuity conditions; medical health education for symptom management; physical assessments; prescriptions; preventive health services; medical clearance; and basic wound care.

Services provided in the broader area of Health and Wellness may be: identifying primary care medical providers, connecting to optometry, dentistry, or sexual health providers; connecting to OB/GYN, pregnancy, or post-partum support; exploring resources for physical movement and nutrition; or connecting to wellness resources for recreation, spiritual connection, and social identity. 

Finally, if clients are looking for Basic Needs, Social Services and Community Resources, they may need referrals for food, clothing, ID, etc.; assistance in applying for insurance, food support, or financial assistance; referrals for vocational  support, waiver services, educational support, or domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy; assistance connecting with shelters, crisis residences, or coordinated entry for housing; or transportation, legal assistance, parenting, and other needs.

Erickson then presented a virtual tour of the  Behavioral Health Intake center on the first floor.   You’ll see more in the You Tube video of this meeting, but the following 2+ minute video covers the matter and emphasizes the welcoming atmosphere the center creates for residents.   Walk-in behavioral health support referrals – social workers – YouTube

The Behavioral Health Center sees itself as “filling in the middle space”.  If someone needs help, but does not have a hospital-level need, or is a public safety issue, this is a great place to start.  People who use the center are not dealing with a medical emergency, a mental health emergency or an overdose, which all require Emergency Room treatment or hospital admission.   Additionally, they must not have committed a crime that requires mandatory arrest and incarceration.   Finally a person must be approaching the Center willingly, that is,  without coercion of any kind. All the services are voluntary.

So  — How well does this work?   

The 2020-2021 data were compiled as a 6-month window looking back and another 6-month window looking forward.   Statistics showed:

  • a 14% reduction in emergency room use,
  • a 10% reduction in inpatient hospital admissions,
  • a 12% reduction in jail bookings,   
  • a 9% increase in community mental health support.

The data were gathered only during the timespan that clients were enrolled in this service.  Other data were gathered from Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office info. There is a limitation that this was a non-experimental design and changes may be due to a variety of factors.

In summary, when someone is in crisis they are suffering and need help right away.  There is no quick fix for any complex issue, including mental health and substance use needs.  All services are voluntary; the center’s mantra is to meet people where they are at.   

If you or someone you know has needs related to mental health or substance use, the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago is a good place to start. 

Directions:

  • Behavioral Health Center
  • 1800 Chicago
  • Use the entrance off of Columbus
  • Enter the doors marked “Clinic and After Hours Entrance”
  • Open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • For afterhours, use the buzzers to access the crisis residence and withdrawal management

Erickson then shared a brief video that was actually made for law enforcement officers.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEaQ08tH5nk The MPD Sgt escorting a person to the center explains the procedure he uses. The point is made that the officer may issue a citation or not – it is the officer’s decision.   The Center is a place to bring someone who doesn’t need hospital-level care, and is not creating a public safety issue, but they do need a place where they can get help sorting things out.

The next video is aimed at social workers and is narrated by social workers.   It’s the video referenced above in this report.  Erickson commented that if a person has a care team but has perhaps dropped out of touch with them, the Center will help them reconnect.  If the resident doesn’t have any services in place, the center gets the ball rolling right away, and stays connected with the resident until they are connected to services and supports.  On average, residents are working with the center about a month while they are getting established in longer-term treatment and recovery support.  The center works at the resident’s pace.

The Center website is a source of all the current information you need. Go to: www.hennepin.us/1800-Chicago.  

In the middle of the screen, click on OPEN ALL and you’ll find a detailed list of the info Erickson has laid out in the recording.  The “Recovery Programs” section is particularly worth opening as it adds information about:

  • Diversion and Recovery Team (DART)
  • Project Child
  • Vocational Services Program (VSP)

QUESTIONS:

QQ How many professionals do you have working in that building?

ANSWER:  Erickson listed  the various professional classifications working there and pointed out that this is still an expanding program.  The three facilities have separate staff and two of them run four multiple shifts.  There are staff such as office support, case management assistants, social workers, senior social workers, advanced practice practitioners, medical assistants, registered nurses, and supervisors. 

QQ While the center serves all of Hennepin County, what about people who are farther out, like Eden Prairie, Rogers, Bloomington?  

ANSWER:  We are on a busline, which is good news.   Any law enforcement agency can provide transport and help people get in.   The system has an embedded social worker in many of the precincts, and the embedded social work program is expanding in 2022.  Additionally, if someone comes to us and needs reconnection with their health care provider, we’ll find them what it takes, be that a ride, a bus token, or a scheduled medical ride. 

QQ Do you work out in the community?  

Erickson pointed out that she is only going into detail on the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago, which is a site-based, walk-in service.  And yes, there are many other parts of Hennepin County Human Services working with the community, including but not limited to:

  • Cope – providing assistance for psychiatric emergencies through phone and in-person consultation
  • Downtown Improvement District Social Workers – engaging and connected residents to needed services and supports from the 120+ city blocks of downtown Minneapolis
  • Jail Diversion Social Workers – connected residents to services and supports to prevent unnecessary bookings
  • Homeless to Housing (H2H) – social workers assisting those experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Mental Health Center – provides therapy, psychiatry, diagnostic assessments, and medication management

QQ Is there a lot of turnover in staff. 

ANSWER:  Erickson has been in her current position for 14 months.  During that time, they have been building services and expanding staff.   People come in knowing what their jobs will be, and what responsibilities will look like.  These are people who want to be working on-site.  We’ve been lucky to find employees that want to be part of this.  Like so many agencies in the community now, some are having hiring challenges with overnight shifts, nursing and medical care, and higher level licensed employees.

QQ:  A new Mpls. resident commented she had no idea of the depth of services offered at 1800.   It seems like it’s all relatively new.  Is this more robust than it was?

ANSWER:  The Behavioral Center has gone through many iterations over the years.  We have plans to continue expanding access to these needed services.  The Behavioral Health Center is filling in the middle space, when a resident needs assistance, but doesn’t meet hospital-level criteria and it is not a public safety emergency.  Other states have called this a “stabilization center.”  We will be expanding the walk-in services to a 12-hour day, M-F 9am-9pm soon (website will included updated hours), and eventually into a 24/7 program. 

QQ:  How do you get the word out?

ANSWER: Traffic comes to us from a variety of sources including: law enforcement, EMS, Minneapolis BCR, mental health and substance use service providers, as a step-down from hospital-level care when emergent needs have been met; people are escorted to the facility by friends and family, and by resident/peers sharing their experience of receiving care in this center.  We have a communications team that shares out the website, video, social media, and earned media. [EQ:  You are strongly encouraged to share this report AND/OR the recording of the meeting, which is a YouTube video  https://youtu.be/K6fdIvdHn78   ]

At this point HC Attorney Okoronkwo and Probation Officer Ihrke stepped in to say thanks to Erickson and her teams for making their work easier to do and better for their clients.  

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

March Report, Part 2

2 QUICK ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Emilie Quast reported that the Minneapolis  Crime dashboard has been totally revised and enhanced!     It’s easy to use, fairly intuitive, presents more important data,   Check  https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/government-data/datasource/crime-dashboard/

There are now more definitions on the page.   You can search by precinct (as before), but you can also search down to Ward, and all the way down to a specific neighborhood.   You can also expand or shrink the time included in the report from the last seven days all the way up to the last four years for easy historical comparisons. 

Second  announcement:  Ukrainians in the 2nd Precinct – the how and why they are our neighbors.   Check here: https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2022/03/how-northeast-minneapolis-came-to-be-a-center-of-the-ukrainian-american-community/

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

Crime in the 2nd Precinct 2/14-3/13:

(all numbers are higher than in the last 28 days unless otherwise noted)

Assault – 73  (includes 8 domestic)

Burglary – 29

Vandalism 31  –  DOWN

Homicide  0

Larceny/Theft 45 – SAME

Robbery 8 – SAME (includes 1 car jacking)

Stolen Property 3 – DOWN

Weapon Law Violations 4

Total:       193 incidents

Shots fired calls 10  – Memo: includes shooting, shooting report only, shotspotter & sound of shots

Gunshots events 1

Further note at the bottom of the page:   One incident or case may count multiple times under the National Incident System.  All numbers are preliminary and subject to change on further review.

————————-

Lt  Nelson reported a new class of recruits has just started, so there are new people entering the system.  The Second Precinct has had no new retirements, so staffing is stable.

Looking forward, Minnesota Hockey is coming up to playoffs with two schools high in the rankings so the 2nd Precinct will be getting busier.   Inspector McGinty and Lt. Nelson are working on staffing issues and are  coordinating with Chief Matt Clark to plan safe coverage of the entire 2nd Precinct should we end up in the Frozen Four.

[EQ: I understand we have both Mankato and U of MN alumni staffing the Second Precinct.] 

The Precinct celebrated Pi Day with assorted fresh pies starting with French silk. 

Emilie held up the Hillard Heintze  “After-action review  of City Agencies’ Responses to Activities Directly Following George Floyd’s Death on May 2, 2020”. It is an interesting document, which just lays out what documents were in force at the time and, based on evidence,  who did or did not respond as directed in the documents.   You may see the full report in the Star Tribune:   https://www.startribune.com/george-floyd-minneapolis-police-department-protests-city-council-report-jacob-frey-derek-chauvin/600154122/

P.O. Ihrke reported the February charges, and 43 arrests, from the 193 incidents found on the Dashboard.

5 Felony charges included Threat of violence, possession of a firearm by a felon, Malicious punishment of a child, 4th degree criminal sexual assault, 1 domestic assault. 

The crimes reported on the new dashboard resulted in 43 arrests for warrants, trespassing, stolen motor vehicles, stalking, burglaries and domestic assaults. 

The recording for the full March meeting can be found here:  https://youtu.be/K6fdIvdHn78

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

Feb Report, Part 1: The new 911 emergency responder: Canopy

Our meeting opened at 6:30, with 15 attenders  The speaker tonight is Joni Hodne, 911/MECC Assistant Director for the City of Minneapolis Emergency Communications. 

In May, 2021, Ms. Hodne  presented the state of the 911/311 response, which was a huge shift from what we’d heard in October, 2018 [https://courtwatch2pac.com/2019/01/13/oct-2-pac-meeting-report-911-emergency-center/].  In May, she stated that many of the protocols were under review and likely to change.   We agreed she’d be coming back when the new protocols had been tested and confirmed, or given a second rewrite.  Tonight was the night for our updates.  

[Here, Emilie had to leave to handle an administrative issue.  In the meantime…]

Lt. Christie Nelson popped in to introduce our new Inspector, Sean McGinty.  The Inspector let us know he was last assigned to the Second in 1997!  This is a happy return.

We were also very happy to learn that Inspector McGinty requested that Lt. Nelson be transferred back from the 3rd Pct. with him.   Right now, they’re concentrating on learning what they need to know about us to do their jobs well. 

Welcome back Inspector and Lieutenant!   We’re happy you’re here.  

Our speaker, Joni Hodne, arrived to tell us about our new Behavioral Crisis Response Unit.

Minneapolis Emergency Communications launched this response on December 13, 2021.  These are the teams who respond to people who are in crisis when there are no weapons involved.  Our current contract is with Canopy, whose website states, “We are a values-based mental health organization offering outpatient and online therapy options to best meet your needs. We provide culturally informed therapy services for historically underserved and marginalized populations in the Twin Cities.”   The current staff of 21 present a well-educated and culturally diverse roster.  (FFI, see: https://www.canopymhc.com/)

Early this month, they were able to extend their hours and are now responding 24 hours a day, M-F.  (Before, they were only responding between 7:30AM and midnight.)   The next extension will be adding responders for over the weekend, as well.   [This notice just appeared in the 2/15 City News –  Tiny URL: https://tinyurl.com/4ssbu3hs ]

Canopy’s typical client may be someone who needs shelter, or who just needs a referral to a shelter.   The responders carry water, snacks, gloves, blankets to meet immediate needs.

Responders will also go to a person who is having some kind of a crisis and who needs someone to listen.   After talking, if the client wishes, the responders will transport them to an appropriate response unit.

Right now, Canopy has two vans to transport people to services where the client can talk to a professional who can spend more time working with them. The vans are marked “Canopy Roots” on the sides.   Responders go out in groups of three.  They will respond to welfare checks.  They do not carry narcan but can call a squad.

The Minneapolis Office for Performance and Innovation, directed by Brian K. Smith, is now hiring specifically for jobs with Canopy, to work within the city of Minneapolis.  Contact that office (Phone: 612-673-2032   Mail:  350 S. 5th St, Room 301M, Minneapolis, MN 55415)  

Staff are required to meet the professional standard minimum of Masters’ level degree in Mental Health. 

Question:  Does this group duplicate services provided by Hennepin County?  

Hodne: The dispatch centers are separate, just due to the population of Mpls.  

P.O. Holly Ihrke added that people can still contact COPE directly.  1800 Chicago Ave services, including mental health services, detox, and other services which are still available for MPLS to use.  THe MPD can take people there directly and don’t need to go through Canopy.    There is still overlap with Hennepin County because Canopy is still a pilot program.  Sometimes Canopy doesn’t have a place to bring people, and it still is not operating 24/7.   Then Hennepin County services fill a huge need. 

QQ HC Co-Responder teams could sidestep the intake procedure, and get people into close care almost immediately with just a phone call.  Can Canopy do the same?  

Hodne: Ms. Hodne didn’t know but will ask at the next meeting.

Inspector McGinty pointed out that Canopy can only transport clients who will go voluntarily.   If something escalates, they will have to call for help.  Urgent care intake is HCMC.  

QQ: So Canopy can call 911 for backup?

McGinty:  They have done that.   We heard good things about them and know they acted well in the Third Pct.    Right now, the problem is “growing pains”.   It’s been a positive program.   Lt. Nelson has been more active with them. 

QQ:  Hennepin County Co-Responders would make follow up contacts with a person and/or with a person’s family, from intake to after release if that seemed appropriate.   Does Canopy have the manpower to do that?  That extended follow up seemed very important. 

Hodne:  Right now, they’re moving from call to call.  They are keeping access to info and records that we don’t have access to. She believes they may be doing that kind of follow up, but it may be something they are only planning at this point.  

QQ: How is Canopy activated, is it 911 or 311 or what?

Hodne:  911 call takers are trained to help you answer the questions so they can decide what kind of service is needed.  Does this call require a police response or a behavioral crisis response or….?  It’s our responsibility to help people sort through all that to determine what the best response might be.   The questions our Call Associates ask about safety, weapons, physical aggression and on, inform the decision.   Our main thing is stressing safety of the people involved AND the safety of responders going out there.   

QQ:  Two vans for the entire city is limiting.   It is a start.

Hodne:  We prioritize responses with our vans as we do with squads.   If we have two vans tied up, we still have street sergeants to help us find squads.    

QQ   How do you prioritize calls for emergency response from the MPD?  Person in danger, crime in progress, other?

Hodne:  Person in danger is always the first.  Then property being damaged.  After that we look at time factors: if there is a disturbance, what squads are available or close?

QQ In the 2018 report to 2-PAC, we heard that every call was heard by a call taker and by a dispatcher.   Is that still true?  

Hodne:  That has started up again.   Last spring, we tried cross-training, and learned that people who were very good call takers might not be as good at dispatching and vice versa.   We found that cross-training let people lose their edge; it’s specializing that keeps a skill sharp.   We’re back to two on a call.

Compliment:  The street cleaners working on SE 18th Ave between SE Como and East Hennepin were working both sides of the street with little regard for bike traffic.  He called 911, got transferred to 311 and got his complaint number.   When he got home, he called to ask if there’d been any response and discovered that traffic control had responded to the issue within the hour.   Good work at a busy time! 

Continued on Feb. report, Part 2

Emilie Quast, Board member

Feb. Report, Part 2: Introducing Inspector Sean McGinty and State of the Precinct

Our speaker tonight is Joni Hodne, 911/MECC Assistant Director for the City of Minneapolis Emergency Communications.

[Here, Emilie had to leave to handle an administrative issue. In the meantime…]

CPS Ali reported on response to “noisy parties” motorcycles, and a long list of similar issues. Before, complaints went from 911 to the Crime Prevention office, which can’t issue citations or impose penalties. Complaints are now going to “Environmental Health”, which can measure noise and send out citations.

Dan Miller offered CPS Ali an update on Stinson Parkway speeders, a project they had worked on together. Miller responded that speed is down. With the city 20 MPH limit, if someone is driving that that no one else can go faster, but with the new limit, people are now driving 25-30 MPH, instead of 35 and up.

QQ about deploying squad cars: the construction on 15th Avenue SE on the former McDonald’s site, is now pumping concrete. He often sees a squad parked there all day just to keep traffic away from the truck access. Is that part of the program?

AA Insp. McGinty: this is happening all over the city. Utility and construction companies hire off duty-officers to keep their workers safe. So, “Does the City pay officers to guard private property?” The answer is no. They are being paid by the private companies because they are off duty. BUT there’s a bonus. If an officer is working for a contractor and a Priority 1 call comes in nearby, the officer signs off the private job to respond to the Priority 1 call. This is a good way to have more cops nearby in the precinct.

QQ Because of construction, sometimes streets are blocked all day. Do they have to have some kind of a permit for that?

AA: Sometimes they may need to just pop out their orange cones as if there’s an emergency situation. If it’s a question of long term activity, they apply for a permit with the street dept. For a big pour, like a slab, trucks may be rolling in all day.

A compliment to CPS Rashid Ali, who conducted a security review at the Village Townhomes, pointing out places where a landscaping change could improve residents’ safety. Thank you, Rashid! The townhouse committee will be acting on your suggestions.

QQ: Some neighbors are concerned about shopping at the Quarry. Crime has been reported in the paper. Is any of that connected to the camp at the SW Corner of the parking lot?

AA: CPS Ali: There have been events, but the people there just want to “have a place” and to be left alone. The camp will be disbanded, but there’s no date of that yet. It’s an ongoing conversation. The MPD is concerned with keeping all people safe. We’ve worked on trash removal and similar issues. One goal is to make sure these people can qualify for subsidized housing which will solve the camping issue. So far, the camp has not had major problems.

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

Inspector McGinty: Current state of the Precinct and plans for the immediate future.

Inspector McGinty: We’re at 50 patrol officers, which is half of what we had two years ago. We have no one on the community response team, only 2 people working on property crime, 1 Crime Prevention Specialist. Each shift has only 15 persons, so we have 6 or 7 to patrol the entire Second Precinct. We have no extras to cover people who are out for extra training or for sick leave.

Lt. Nelson and Inspector McGinty have expanded overtime details and use our crime analysis unit to deploy resources intentionally. We don’t want officers just driving randomly around.

Hiring is a challenge for all police forces around the metro area. We have authorization to have trainee classes of 40. Not enough people sign up to apply, and some of those who do sign up don’t pass their background checks.

A lawsuit has been filed against the city to get to 735 and we’re a long way from that number. Finding recruits is not made easier by public by comments from some elected officials and others. All officers want to know they have the support of elected officials.

The current officers have been working without a contract for nearly 33 months, which makes it harder to attract recruits. Entry pay is in the mid-$20s to low $30s, which isn’t attractive. A contract will tell people what they’re signing up for. Hopefully the city will sign that contract by the end of the month so things can start to move up.

My job is to make sure our 50 cops keep working for the 2nd. Lt. Nelson and I will create an atmosphere where officers feel they are supported. The 2nd Pct. is a place where officers will meet the standards set by Chief Hoffmann, Lt. Nelson and I for treating our citizens with respect. We’re also watching so officers don’t take on too much overtime — they need to be rested and healthy so they can step up to doing their difficult job in a professional manner.

Right now, if you take senior officers (20-30 years’ experience) out of the equation, the average officer is 1.5 to 2 years in the Department. They are well-trained but still relatively new to the MPD and to the Law Enforcement profession.

The Inspector and Lt. Nelson met with the three new City Council members in early February; we feel the meeting was productive. CMs Rainville and Payne have worked for the city in the Office for Performance and Innovation; all three seem eager to make good things happen in the Second.

Inspector McGinty will attend neighborhood meetings in the coming months to meet people and create new relationships. He wants to hear your ideas, so bring them. He has no problem attending difficult meetings or answering difficult questions. We have to work together to figure out how to use the resources we have to make the good things we want.

We are aware that the Second Precinct grows by more than 40,000 people every year as students come to the U of M. We need to maintain our professional relationship with the UMPD to keep those people safe, on Minneapolis property or on campus. UMPD Chief Clark is a former MPD officer; we have worked together before.

Inspector McGinty announced that Lt. Nelson will be going to the FBI academy this summer. She’ll be gone for 3, 4 months. Congratulations Lt. Nelson!

Quast relayed Crime Statistics for the 2nd Precinct for the period 1/11-2/13, 2022, as reported on the MPD dashboard:

Part 1 Violent Crime: Homicide = 0; Rape = 6; Robbery = 24; Agg. assault = 31, of which 9 were domestic assaults. Total = 61

Part 1 Property Crime: Burglary = 26; Larceny = 231; Theft from MV = 142; Auto theft = 81; Arson = 1 Total= 339 All Part 1 total = 400

The Second Precinct reported 13.47% of all city crime, but that percent is about 60% higher than our normal numbers

CPS Ali: 2nd Pct.residents could cut our crime rate by half if we stop giving people opportunities to commit crime. 70% of car thieves use the car keys left by owners. Most theft from motor vehicles is stuff left visible in the car. None of that needs to happen. Take the keys, clean out the car, and park in the garage if you have one.

Catalytic converter theft can go down if people had cc-locks installed on their converters. Manufacturers are offering new prevention devices including an alarm that is installed on the converter. Another alarm reacts the sound of the converter being sawed off. One alarm lets out 115-120 decibels, enough to stop most people.

Winter “always” brings crime down, but this year, our numbers are going up. Much of that crime can be prevented by residents if they’re willing to take simple steps, now. Know that crime will go up when spring arrives.

Quast referred to a story in the MNDaily that some students don’t want to see people in uniforms on campus (UMPD or MPD). Those of us who have been around longer do not want to see the work coordinated by the two police depts. lost.

Inspector McGinty assured us that the MPD/UMPD professional coordination and friendship will not be dissolved.

Probation Officer Ihrke reported on the success of law enforcement lobbyists in the State House. The MN Senate passed a bill supporting $1Million to support recruiting and incentives. There are other items involved with this bill; front line worker pay is tied up in there also. It does give hope. The $1M bill has passed the Senate and is going to the House.

Back to business in the 2nd Pct.: In the last month there were 21 felony assaults, 1 felony burglary, 5 felony drug cases, 1 kidnapping, 2 crim-sex, 1 property damage and 1 felony theft. That’s 32 felonies charged in the 2nd Precinct last month. Additionally, there were 57 arrests in January.

The courts are figuring out how to streamline the court system. They use in-person sentencing only where there is a presumptive sentence. Jury trials and hearings leading to a conviction are being done on Zoom. The 4th Judicial District courts are catching up.

Adult corrections population is down to about 80 people. Two years ago, we had almost 400 in there.

Probation is being re-evaluated, however. Minnesota spends about $600,000 annually on probation and supervised release. Unfortunately, 70% of the people going on probation ultimately go back to jail because their probation was not successful.

There are a lot of problems with the process and we expect a lot more changes in the future. Minnesota does save money by not incarcerating people, but people are not making a lot of progress. More change is coming because of this.

Lt. Nelson reported for Mpls. Attorney Okoronkwo that everyone on his charge list has been charged. He is waiting for Court dates.

Adjourn at 8PM. Find Video at https://youtu.be/dzAMtJi1OvE

Emilie Quast, Board member, MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council e-quas@umn.edu