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How will MPD keep Minneapolis streets safe this summer

On Jan 9, 2023.  6:35 PM,  we opened with 11 attenders

“How do we keep streets safe when  . . . ”   and “Why did they . . .?” and “What were they thinking?” are questions Eastsiders ask when we see news about our neighborhoods.** 

Inspector McGinty opened the presentation.   The Inspector doesn’t understand why people shoot fireworks at other people, either.   Roman candles are dangerous enough, but now they’re shooting things like mortars at other people; fireworks can seriously hurt or kill people.** 

When the Eastside  has events, they’re big:  The Northeast Parade, Spring Jam, U of M Homecoming,  July 4 fireworks on the River. The hockey team is highly ranked, so we may get some action there.

The Inspector, Lt. Nelson, and people from the city are developing plans to contain and tamp down the mayhem. 

It’s important to know that we have a map:  these events have happened before, and we know where they’re likely to emerge again. For example, Main Street was the site of a lot of action in 2022. Last year’s events brought in hotrodders,who raced up and down streets and circled through neighborhoods.  We reduced traffic, directed it away from that area, turned a through street into a cul-de-sac. 

Some residents near Main Street would prefer we turn that into a cul-de-sac again when the weather gets warmer. The redesigned park on the Main Street bluff draws foot traffic to our end of the Stone Arch Bridge.  Residents want that park to draw in people on foot and on bikes.  No one should be dodging cars to get through the area.  The Second Precinct needs resources to handle this;  it’s the Inspector’s job to make sure we get those resources from the Chief and the Commissioner.

Minneapolis has investigation teams that work all over the city.  The teams rarely have to cross the river, but the Inspector and Lt. Nelson will be bringing them over as events get scheduled.*

A new local restaurant and bar, Stepchld [sic], and Hyde sometimes have events that  get disruptive. We haven’t heard much from them lately, but in spring and summer 1st Ave and NE at University is often a site of loud events in lower Northeast.   We expect that again this spring.

We succeeded in closing a nightclub at 308 East Hennepin.   It had opened as a boutique, but actually was an unlicensed strip club and bar. With a lot of help from community members, working with city licensing and with CM Rainville, the 308 was shut down.   They have not resurfaced yet — at least not in the Second Precinct.  [EQ: the new protocol for Precinct-related 311 calls, like loud parties in bars,  sends community member 311 reports directly to the Second Precinct.   This gets info to the right people right away.]

The cycle starts up soon, opening with hockey, then Spring Jam, Graduation and on.    We know who acted up last year are likely to come back this year.   We have to stay ahead of this.

Focusing on the University area, the Inspector and Lt. Nelson meet with the University of Minnesota Safety Coalition every other week, to exchange info with the Coalition and the UMPD.***

We want people to come back to the U of M to celebrate successes, but to do it safely.  We don’t need people shooting mortars and we don’t need 14, 15, 16 year old kids just tooling around.   We want people to come in and safely enjoy our restaurants, bars and more.  Street races are not part of that.  We want to build Minneapolis back to where it was with entertainment districts and more.  We want these districts to flourish.  Entertainment in Northeast and Southeast is a big part of the Second Precinct.   We want it to be safe.

QQ: Operation Endeavor is working well Downtown.  Is that pulling any of your officers away?  

ANS: Endeavor was built by the Commissioner.  The Gun Investigation Team was a big part of that at first, but they have a new “React Team” that goes out with the Gun Team to bolster that unit.  They’re also training my “younger” cops [i.e. officers with only 2-7 years on the force] who want  experience.   Two officers from the Second go over for 90 days.   They get extensive training.   The team has an embedded city attorney who teaches the officers to write reports that will get cases charged.  They learn how to write up the cases differently and better.  It’s a great trade off:  I lose two cops for 90 days and they come back better trained and excited.   They pass that on to the others.  The first two just came back, and we sent two more.   We’ll continue to rotate officers through the program.

Two 4-week public reports are available here:  https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/mayor/issues-and-priorities/public-safety/operation-endeavor-report/

REACT was covered in FOX-9 report here:https://www.fox9.com/news/inside-operation-endeavor-how-minneapolis-pd-is-working-to-fight-crime

QQ How’s recruiting going?

ANS: The Chief and Asst. Chief are starting an outreach, going into communities, offering culturally specific citizen academies.

MPD is trying to get into the schools.   Teachers and parents want the next generation of officers to look like the people who live in the city.  Where do you recruit?  In the schools.  The catch is that the Teachers’ Unions don’t want MPD in the schools.

QQ: Bike Cops for Kids program was a recruitment tool.  Will it be revived when there’s enough staffing?

ANS:  The funding stopped when the program couldn’t be staffed.   The truck was sold.

BUT

The Chief has a new idea for a similar program:  He’s talking about getting a similar vehicle and sending that to encampments with social workers, medical and addiction help and more.  NARCAN distribution might be part of that.  It would be a one-stop shop vehicle for the homeless, similar to Metro Transit’s HAT program.

About the Quarry Camp closing.  When the camp was closed, there were six people actually there.   It had been more of a daycamp.  The closing went smoothly; there were no confrontations at all. [https://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-clears-homeless-camp-near-quarry-shopping-center/600239634/]

Two days before, the camp had people with machetes, wearing masks and shields and so on, which is why the chief pulled back. Those were NOT people from the camps; they were protesters who came when they thought we were coming.   When they didn’t think we’d be there, the protesters weren’t there.  Earlier, when the temps were deadly cold, 2nd Precinct cops were taking people into their vehicles so they could warm up; protesters weren’t there to help the campers but the MPD was.  On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there were no protesters. When the news cameras were there, the protesters were there too.   On the day we didn’t come, the protesters left at 2:30 and didn’t bother to stick around.    The Quarry is about the last “legacy camp” in the city.  The closing was very successful. 

Reference to the December 2-PAC presentation by Lt. Nelson and P.O. Ihrke which outlined all the social services that the county, the city and NPOs  bring to the camps as soon as they know about them.   The work is amped up when a closure is announced, but there is always help available.  [Find the Report: https://courtwatch2pac.com/   put  ENCAMPMENTS in the search box]

The inspector replied, Lt. Nelson and I have been working on this for over two years.    We’ve never used force or had to use it.  We’ve never arrested anyone.   There have been a lot of successes.   It’s always important that it’s the whole city [and others] involved.  It’s never just the police department on its own.   We get to know these people well. 

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

Crime Dashboard report for previous 28 days from Jan 9

Crime20222021
Assault5578
     Incl.Domestic Agg. 714
Burglary1824
Vandalism prop.destruction4239
Homicide, non-negligent00
Homicide, negligent00
Larceny theft141170
Robbery430
     Incl. carjacking08
Sex offenses43
Stolen property offenses14
Weapon law violations36
Gunshot wound victims02

In the December 12 2-PAC, we called attention to the significant drop in crime as reported to the MPD Dashboard.  On January 8, the Star Tribune page 1 headline also called attention to the drop in crime in Minneapolis.

Inspector McGinty:  If we could do something about theft of Kias and Hyundais, the numbers would be down further.   66% of our stolen cars are those two, over 2000 in Minneapolis since the TicToc video on stealing Kias and Hyundais came out.  The MPD has clubs [steering wheel lock] and will be giving them out.   Lock your cars.  If you have a garage use it and lock that too.

QQ any chance we’ll have an open house this year?

Ans:  I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t.   We had the parade last year, and it’s a positive thing for the 2nd Pct to do.

QQ from CPS Ali, Have you heard, or do you know anything about 4 neighborhoods in NE Merging?

ANS from Karl Smith past president of SE Como:  The city has reduced n’hood organization funding.  N’hoods are considering joining with others so they can support at least one organization director.   The support had been over $50K a year for each n’hood, so they could support a director.   It’s now down to $10K   It still varies a bit depending on the size and needs of the n’hood.

Historically, n’hood organizations were volunteer organizations.   It’s going back that way, which is more difficult for n’hoods that have high transient populations like student renters.

An Audubon resident added:  the Work for Teen Challenge and the Audubon Association are working to get grants.

QQ: About Kias and Hyundais, and about catalytic converters: what would make them harder to steal.

ANS   Kias and Hyundais are easy to steal because there’s a USB port in the steering column for cars from 2014 to 2019.   The manufacturers haven’t done much about it.  Locking the cars up, preferably in a locked garage with a club steering wheel lock is the best we’ve got so far.

Converter thefts go up and down.  We’ve tried to get some legislation passed to make scrap yards more responsible.   People are pulling up with 30-40 converters for sale.   Unless you own a muffler shop, you have no reason to have that many.   That didn’t get traction in the last legislative session, so we’re trying again.  Senators  Dziedzic and Champion are trying to get legislation to deal with the  hot rod exhibition drivers.   If we can’t stop the behavior with impounding vehicles and issuing fines, we’ll go with  legislation.

COURTWATRCH   HCA Sandra Filardo reporting.   We’re transitioning because we have a new County Attorney, Mary Moriarty.  [https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/mary-moriarty-pledges-transparency-when-she-becomes-hennepin-county-attorney/] That’s going well. 

Mpls City Atty Nnamdi Okoronkwo:   pretty much the same thing.   The new city attorney is  Kristyn Anderson.  She is deep into civil side of the office.    Generally, it’s still business as usual.  [Kristyn Anderson info:  https://www.startribune.com/kristyn-anderson-to-serve-as-minneapolis-city-attorney/600204956/]

QQ:  subject for consideration:  Paul Welch and KARE-11 have been reporting on people who have committed felony crime, been arrested, negotiated release, and continue to commit felony crime.  We’ve had discussions at 2-PAC about how people who are in jail can’t do much work toward rehabilitation.   We had a discussion about having to empty the jail because of Covid (in 2020 and on). 

Ihrke:   The news media report the failures, but they don’t report the successes.   They are not giving the public the full picture of  what is happening.    BUT  Probation is redesigning  a lot of policy.   There is a push in the legislature to give Community Corrections more money this year to expand programs for which we have evidence of effectiveness. 

She added that the Dept. of Community Corrections is adding more domestic units.  That will lead to approximately 20 more officers assigned to domestic cases, felony and gross misdemeanor cases.   Because of the results Hennepin and Ramsey Counties are producing, the legislature is looking for money to get these programs out to the rest of the state.

*https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/departments/police/investigations/

**https://kstp.com/kstp-news/top-news/july-4-weekend-ends-with-mayhem-in-minneapolis-7-hurt-in-boom-island-shooting/  ;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9v0fmJZYsw  ;  https://www.fox9.com/news/police-3-women-were-injured-by-fireworks-on-university-of-minnesota-campus ; https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/minnesota/articles/2022-07-04/18-year-old-man-dies-in-minnesota-fireworks-explosion

*** History of the Coalition: https://mndaily.com/273986/news/umn-parents-hope-to-combat-officer-shortages-show-support-for-police/ ; the Coalition’s home page:  https://campussafetycoalition.org/events-and-initiatives

Youtube video of the Zoom meeting https://youtu.be/FU2CKk7oSQc

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Dec. report, part 2: Encampments in Minneapolis, Q&A and STATE OF THE PRECINCT Incl. YouTube video

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

From the MPD Crime Dashboard:

Crime                                   2022            2021

Assault                                    72                 71

     Incl. Dom.aslt.                    10                   8

Burglary                                   17                 44   down 61.4%

Vandalism                                30                 86   down 65.1%

Homicide (non negligent)          1                    0

Homicide (negligent)                 1                    0

Larceny/Theft                        148                 201 down 26.4%

Mot.Veh.Theft                          83                  74

Robbery                                   11                  32  down 65.6%

    Incl car jacking                       2                   9  down 77.8%

Sex offenses                              2                   6  down 66.7%

Stolen Prop. Offenses                2                   6  down 66.7%

Weapons law violations.             7                   7

Good numbers!

Lt Nelson  noted that, nationwide, the cars most easily stolen remain Kias and Hyundai, as noted https://fortune.com/2022/09/22/hyundai-kia-cars-stealing-hack-thieves/      There are YouTube videos on how to steal them!

There are several lists of “most often stolen cars” if you want to see if yours made a list.   If you have a target car or simply want to keep what you’ve got, and own a garage, lock the garage and the car.  Think about putting a club on the car.   None of these will prevent a determined thief from taking your car, but each of them will slow the thief down just that much more.   If you can’t afford a club, the Precinct has a limited number of clubs to give away.

QQ Where do Porch Pirates fit on the list?

Ali:  Theft like that is part of the larceny/theft count.   The level of offense is determined by the value of the item stolen.

EQ: Several law firms have clear statements of how the various levels of theft are determined and what sentences they trigger.  The following is well written but there are others: https://arechigo-stokka.com/blog/punishment-for-theft/    or see MN Court Rules, sentencing guidelines https://www.revisor.mn.gov/court_rules/sg/id/7/

Again, it’s better to prevent theft than to make up for the loss.  You can have an online purchase sent to a secure location. UPS has its own.  Amazon uses some lock stations across the  city.  Home Depot now has its own locker site in the main entrance of their building –I think that’s for its stock only.)

Lt. Nelson noted that some people have packages delivered to them at work if they work in an office.  She also noted that the RING doorbells seem to be detering some theft.  If the camera is well located, you have an instant bit of evidence and a clear picture. 

CPS Ali suggested that if you’re having an expensive item delivered, require signature at delivery.   That way, if the item disappears, you have proof of delivery; the vendor will replace the item and charge it back to the delivery service.

A Youtube video of this meeting, including “Encampments in Minneapolis” and “Courtwatch,” is posted on https://courtwatch2pac.com/

Emilie Quast, Board memberMPD Second Precinct Advisory Council, 2-PAC

Dec. report, part 1: Encampments in Minneapolis – Policy AND Protection.

MPD 2-PAC Dec. Report.  The meeting opened at 6:35 on 12/12/22 with 15 attenders.   Lt. Christie Nelson and P.O. Holly Ihrke, presenters.

Lt. Nelson:  News stories of camp closings in Minneapolis in 2020-21 led to a stronger reliance on social agencies, some are funded by the city, some are county agencies, and others are totally independent NPOs.  The agencies share a common goal: to help homeless people find a bridge to a safer life. 

It’s a difficult issue.   These camping spaces are posted, “No Trespassing” meaning it’s a crime to be there in the first place.  The compromise is that the camps are not closed without warning,  usually two weeks in advance.

Additionally, social service workers begin working in camps as soon as they know about them.  They also see the two-week notice when it’s put up.   At that time, the MPD provides perimeter security to ensure that outsiders don’t interfere with the outreach staff while they are trying to provide support.  Lt. Nelson has gone into camps with the social workers to deliver the message, “You’re not going to jail, but we need you to accept the services that the social workers are offering you.” 

Minneapolis services includes several agencies that only work with homeless people.  They are in these camps every day, making connections offering services, shelter, and more.   We also have non-profit independent outreach organizations such as AVIVO, AICDC*, St. Stephen’s, and more side by side with the City and County staff.

MPD understands that homelessness starts many ways:  social issues, addiction issues, mental health, bad luck, accident, and more.   Outreach service workers have extensive training and resources to provide care; with that training, they can do the work more effectively than most police officers can.

People’s property is another issue that gets a lot of press.  If people in the camps want to keep their property, the MPD will take care of their belongings for them.  We catalog it and hold it in a secure site in NE Minneapolis.   It will be waiting for them when they can pick it up.  We agree they have a right to their own property.

Before a decision is made to close a camp, the topic is discussed at meeting of  representatives from CPED,***  the City Attorney’s Office, City Inspections, MNDOT, Park Police, and people from other organizations and departments, like Veterans service organizations, and including the MPD.  The MPD never makes this decision on its own.   Meetings are held every two weeks.

P.O. Ihrke added that a camp closure is “orchestrated” by the land owners.   The camp closure behind Target near Lake Street was requested by Metro Transit which owns the land, set the calendar, and more — Metro Transit PD did the enforcement for that closure. 

Hennepin County has a division that deals with housing for the unsheltered [https://www.hennepin.us/coordinated-entry]  They meet bi-monthly.   Various grassroot organizations also help with housing. These teams go out to the camps and can create referrals to housing on the spot. These teams are committed to finding shelter for campers. 

People who are unsheltered have a higher priority for housing, including those who’ve been staying in a shelter for two weeks, or living in their car.  Some people use transit for shelter, which let to Metro Transit to form its own team.  They have shelter vouchers to hand out [See Homelessness Action Team]**

Hennepin County offers professional health care for anyone who is homeless.**** Teams of  licensed nurse practitioners and doctors offer medical care in the camps.   When someone needs care beyond what can be provided in the camp, the team calls a Med Cab to transport the patient to an appropriate facility. 

Some folks need more intensive social care or have different needs.  Case managers can issue cell phones so that people can be in contact with their parole or probation officers, make appointments and other necessary connections. [EQ: during the Q&A, a visitor to the Quarry camp remarked that many people there have phones.]

Also, HCAO and Attorneys from several cities have created a system that will reduce judicial barriers for these people if a pending case would stop a landlord from renting to them.   See https://www.hennepin.us/residents/human-services/unsheltered-homelessness

Ihrke:  Also, as a closure date is posted, the service providers and planners are amping up services.  The extra attention brought the Lake Street camp from some 20 tents to fewer than 10 when the camp was closed.  Counselors remind people there are offices where people can get a referral for housing.  [Side note: some of the counselors working on referrals have been homeless themselves; they do understand.]

It’s important that every step of this procedure is documented.  Lt. Nelson pointed out that no matter where the camp is located, the process to close it is the same.  The process is equitable. 

*https://avivomn.org/  and https://www.aicdc-mn.org/   The AICDC targets Indigenous people, using a cultural framework. 

**The HAT program was created by Lt Mario Roberto who was a paramedic for 20 years before he joined the MTPD.   Read https://courtwatch2pac.com/2019/07/28/july-2-pac-transit-police/  where he told the complete story of what, why and how this program began.

   *** Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) https://www2.minneapolismn.gov/government/departments/cped/

  ****https://www.hennepin.us/residents/health-medical/health-care-for-the-ho

EQ: the complex history of permitted and unpermitted camps for homeless people in Minneapolis is traced in a Wikipedia article here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Minneapolis_park_encampments  The additional reading notes that follow the footnotes are enlightening. 

Nov. Report: Welcome back Lt. Nelson – New Topics Call

The meeting was called to order at 6:39.   12 people attending.

Lt Nelson started her catch-up report but was having  computer connection problems so CPS Rashid Ali stepped in to share some very important news.

Redesigned 911/311 protocols have been announced twice before but changes are still being reworked.  The latest procedure retains 911 as the place to call for persons in danger or crime in progress.   The new streamlined protocol sends suspicious activity reports (from 311 calls) directly to the Precinct Crime Prevention Specialist for analysis to redirect the calls. 

CPS Ali pointed out that CPS staff know  their precincts.   They know which are the trouble houses, which people have issues that don’t require an officer, which residents have local family or friends for support.  CPS staff will contact the people involved and find out what’s going on.   Essentially, directing 311 calls to CPSs,  the people who literally know the territory, should go a long way in improved efficiency and effective response.   This redirection will take a load off the officers who should not be responding to those calls

Someone asked what “CPS” means.  That is Crime Prevention Specialist, a unit that is part of Minneapolis Neighborhood & Community Relations.  FFI: see https://www2.minneapolismn.gov/government/departments/ncr/

Welcome Back and Congratulations Lt. Christie Nelson!

Lt. Nelson is back after spending 10 weeks at Quantico, completing an executive leadership course sponsored by the FBI and the University of Virginia.   Her Master’s Certificate was issued through UVA.  We’re happy to see her back in the Second Precinct. 

She’s been bringing herself up to date with MPD issues, balancing staffing needs with officers’ need for time off.   She just had her first meeting with our new MPD Chief, Brian O’Hara.   It’s encouraging that he was voted in by the entire City Council.  

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:

Data from the MPD Crime Dashboard:  comparing the numbers 2022  against 2021

Charge 2022 2021
Assault 81 75
    Incl.Dom.Ag.Asslt 9 10
Burglary, B&E **                  
14 75
Destr. Of property 79 50
Homicide 0 0
MV theft 88 63
Robbery 24 25
    Incl Carjacking 9 4
Sex offenses 5 11
Stolen property  2 7
Weapons violations 11 9




Shots fired calls 28 36
Gunshot wound vics 0 1
** Likely an error.   Two weeks later, the report read 13 and 36, and the 3-year average was 40.  Somebody’s doing something right.

Before this meeting, Emilie put out a call to 2nd Pct residents for topics for future meetings or issues of concern.   The list was short, but very pertinent!   Lt. Nelson first took the ones that were clearly policing matters.

Proposed topics for future PAC meetings and issues of concern in the Second.

QQ  What’s happening about street racing, doing doughnuts, and similar:

Nelson:  Winter weather puts an end to most of this.   The concrete barriers that had been put out to halt street racing (primarily on Main Street) were taken in on November 1.   In other locations,  street maintenance discovered that steel plates (usually put down when a hole has been dug under the street) prevent cars from driving doughnuts.   The steel plates will probably be returning next summer.  

The light cameras are coming down now; they don’t operate well in our winters.   Sturdier versions will go up next spring.

QQ  A rep from the Logan Park N’hood Assn. and others in the precinct have sent in questions about 2nd Precinct crime statistics.  What kinds of crimes happen in their immediate area and what can neighbors do about it. 

Emilie suggested that we could use a brief presentation on navigating the MPD Crime and Crime Maps Dashboard.   The Maps feature locates a crime report down to the street address, which is very informative. If we had a stand alone video, everyone would be able to share that.  Rashid pointed to his use of Raids Online.  Discussion pointed to Emilie and Rashid doing a joint 20-minute presentation.   

Also, Rashid offers presentations on crime control strategies at community meetings.   Contact him at  abdirashid.ali@minneapolismn.gov  or 612-673-2874

QQ about DEW [Directed Energy Weapons i.e. tasers and similar].  Is there any legislation addressing the use of this technology?

The Police Officers Standards Training Board [POST Board] sets the guidelines.   Local criminal courts determine what officers can or can’t carry.   If, however, the City Attorney’s Office has an idea they want codified at the state level, they’ll propose it through the channels to the legislature that this idea should become a resolution. State representatives are the ones to start the process at the state level.   Again: legislators need input from citizens to know what we want.  A state level code would top a city mandate or guideline.  

To the basic question, EQ asks: Once a state level order is enacted, who writes the local policy for the local force?   Who teaches the policies?   Who determines if the policies are being followed?   What is “reasonable cause”?

QQ   How does Bail work?

Bail is a pretrial restriction to ensure a suspect will return to court for trial; it’s a conditional release.   Certain charges come with a suggested bail range, but the judge decides how much to set.  If a person returns on their court date, the bail is refunded.   If they do not return, the bail is forfeited.  [EQ: when Covid hit,  the Sheriff’s offices were urged to empty the jails as much as they could safely do.   The close quarters that most jails offer are ripe for disease spread; people who pick up a bug in jail and then leave can infect others on the outside.  See Paragraph 2:  https://www.mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/fourth_district/documents/Criminal/HCDCPretrialDetentionReduction.pdf  ]

Atty Okoronkwo pointed out that bail was intended to be a bond set by the accused or family.   People who don’t have the means to put up their own bail can take out a bond from a certified Bond Broker.   MN Law allows third parties (like Brokers) to post bail for a person.  [See https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/ss/ssbailmn.pdf ]   This has been used by organizations like the MN Freedom Fund.   [See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Freedom_Fund  for a fairly even-handed explanation of the organization.]

QQ  Juvenile justice: What resources does Hennepin County have access to for juveniles committing serious crimes? What does our state need to do to provide more treatment options for juveniles?

EQ:  In April of 2021, Judge Mark Kappelhoff of the 4th Judicial District, gave an extensive report on the new Youth Justice Council — a multi-agency coordinated program directed at “Keeping Kids On Track and Out Of Trouble”.   The report is detailed and represents a lot of thoughtful planning.   Read it here:  https://courtwatch2pac.com/2021/05/04/april-report-part-1-keeping-kids-on-track-and-out-of-trouble/

Since then we’ve had pandemic lockdown and many more impacting events.  19 months later, it will be interesting to hear/read a report on how it worked out for the courts and for the kids.   I’ll ask Judge Kappelhoff about that. 

Drive by shootings in  NE   A resident is very concerned about two drive-by shootings at a house on 15th and Adams NE.  

Rashid and Lt. Nelson responded:  That is the problem property that was discussed at the Logan Park Community meeting, attended by Inspector McGinty, Lt. Nelson and CPS Ali and CCM Payne.  At that meeting, they outlined how this kind of problem is handled by the Precinct.   That is a property managed by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, which is good!   The MPHA is known for responding promptly and they are aware of the incidents.   CPS Ali is in contact with the security person for that property.  Contact CPS Ali at abdirashid.ali@minneapolismn.gov  or 612-673-2874

Encampments in Minneapolis:  Per the Star Tribune, Minneapolis policy and procedures don’t look good.   How did St. Paul get a better procedure than we have and when are we going to catch up?   see https://www.startribune.com/in-minneapolis-and-st-paul-two-homeless-encampment-strategies/600222337/    Winter’s here.   Minneapolis is not offering a good way to handle encampments.

Holly and Christie offered to do a presentation on this topic for December.  

QQ  E-mail security:  A resident came in with a new question about security for a new email account.   CPS Ali suggested first checking all your financial links to make sure they have not been attacked.   If you find evidence that something isn’t right, contact that account’s “Help” or “Contact Us” desk and share the issue with them, since they can see what’s going on from their desk. 

Also, consider sitting down with a banker at your bank or credit union and setting up a 2-step verification.   That means that if you or anyone else wants to get into your account [and you have not authorized auto pay for that place], the account is closed unless you or the other party can receive a security code sent to your phone.   This isn’t something the MPD teaches, but it is something officers and others do for themselves with the help of their banks and contact assistance people with credit card companies.

QQ Neighborhood security  Earlier in the meeting, Lt. Nelson spoke on the importance of residents communicating with the Precinct.   Officers can’t be everywhere or see everything that ‘s going on.   They rely on residents to keep information coming in.   This is in line with another idea for increasing neighborhood security:  Emilie reminded the group that quite a few years ago, you could spot “See something / Say something” or “I watch and I call”  or McGruff House  signs all over neighborhoods.   Additionally, some 15 years ago, the MPD had a block club drive,  getting block clubs organized across the city — it was very successful.   The person who was the driving force behind much of that retired this summer, although block club leader training is still available.   

I did some looking at related topics and discovered that the neighborhood watch is still a national level initiative.   See  https://www.nnw.org/    — this is the National Neighborhood Watch, a division of the National Sheriffs’ Association.   I hope this is something we can start talking through in December and see if any kind of support is available after Sheriff-elect Witt takes her office.

Do I think we’ll get a big deal rolling?   I don’t know.   I do know that we don’t like the lack of organization we’ve got in many parts of the precinct now.  I also know that if we don’t do anything, what we’ve got is what we’re going to keep getting.    Let’s see what happens.  

This can NOT be part of 2-PAC.  

Final word from Lt. Nelson:  

The weather is getting cold. 

 Don’t start your car to warm it and go back into the house. 

It’s terrible getting into a cold car. 

It’s worse to have no car to get into.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

1911 Central Ave NE

Minneapolis MN 55418
e-quas@umn.edu

October report: MN HEALS 2.0 and State of the Precinct

The meeting was called to order on Oct. 10, 2022, at 6:30 PM, 4 attenders. Note: October 10 is Indigenous People’s Day. Many Minneapolis City offices were closed.

MN HEALS is Minnesota Hope, Education, and Law and Safety.

In 1997, Minneapolis was named “Murderapolis” for the rate of homicides. In response, Hennepin County Atty. Freeman launched MN HEALS. The program focused on the crime center, the Phillips neighborhood. MN HEALS was a coordination of the 16 criminal justice jurisdictions that served the Phillips neighborhood. It included police and probation officers, safety centers, youth jobs programs, community and business leaders. Under the MN HEALS strategy, violent crime declined by more than the national rates over ten years; murder fell in Minneapolis’ Third Precinct from 26 in 1995 to 5 in 2002.

In the 1990s, our speaker, Mike Christensen was head of The Allina Foundation, a community service provider in the Phillips neighborhood.* Phillips was also home to a leading Cardiac Care hospital, Abbott-Northwestern. Abbott-Northwestern Hospital had received a notice: unless something was done about crime in Phillips, the cardiac specialists of A-NW would be leaving the hospital system. They didn’t feel safe coming in.

Honeywell’s world headquarters was also in Phillips. Honeywell was “concerned for the safety of its employees and property, and for the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood.” Honeywell also decided it could either do something about violent crime or it would have to leave the inner city.

Mr. Christensen, representing Allina, and representatives from Honeywell, 3M, General Mills and the Minnesota Business Partnership (MBP), met with Governor Arne Carlson to secure his support to stop the continued spread of crime, first in Phillips, and then statewide. The local corporations and the MBP contributed financial support, influence and human resources. The executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) provided information and facilitated collaboration among Federal, State, and local criminal justice agencies.**

MN HEALS Structure:

1) Law Enforcement Task Force assignment: develop a strategic response to homicides and shootings and gang activities.

2) Community Task Force assignment: Develop long-range local crime prevention activities, funded at least in part by corporations.

3) Forum Committee assignment: open to all; share information and make recommendations to other committees.

4) Support Committee assignment: approve final actions and make decisions on key objectives and fundraising.

MN HEALS grew to include 61 member organizations including corporate members, Minneapolis and St. Paul city agencies, Hennepin and Ramsey County sheriff’s offices, attorneys’ offices and commissioners, Metro Transit Police, Mpls Dept of Health and Family Support, Mpls Public Schools. State participants included the Dept. of Public Safety, Dept. of Corrections. The University of Minnesota and the MN Attorney General’s Office joined. Federal agencies include the FBI, DEA, ATF, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A team from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government studied homicide patterns from January 1994 through May 1997. They discovered that almost 45% of homicides appeared to be gang related; African-American youth were disproportionately represented as victims and suspects. More than 40% of gang members had been on probation and 76.8% had arrest histories, with an average of 9.5 arrests. Firearms were used in 2/3 of homicides. These data were the basis of the 1997 focus response. The Gang Unit of the MPD used its database to identify gangs and to target specific youth. The unit focused on 50 people who were multiple offenders.

Strategic Intervention: In 1997, the Law Enforcement Task Force began action: After a shooting, a team including police, probation officers, federal and local prosecutors, and federal law enforcement located and met with suspects AND with victims’ associates. Probation officers checked to see if anyone was under the authority of the Dept. of Probation, because they could receive extra attention from that Dept. One well-publicized intervention included a car search in which four guns and two Molotov cocktails were discovered. This coordinated response was seen as a major factor in stopping the violence in 1997.

Minneapolis Anti-Violence Initiative (MAVI)

MAVI pairs MPD officers and Sheriff’s deputies with probation officers from the Hennepin County Dept. of Community Corrections. The teams made unannounced visits to probationers, including 331 juveniles and 398 adults over 15 months. ATF agents also traced every firearm recovered by police within 1 day after confiscation. If a suspicious trace was discovered, police were able to develop cases for illegal firearm use and trafficking.

Saturation Patrols. Patrol and gang unit officers with ATF agents conducted saturation patrols in small targeted areas. The goal was to remove as many firearms from the streets as possible. The program also targeted residential gun dealers.

State Gang Task Force

This task force had 40 members from local, county and State police agencies. All members are deputized and have statewide power which allows them to work across jurisdictions.

Outcomes: It’s been noted that crime dropped across the U.S. during this period, but Phillips drops were deeper than the average including homicides (which included gang-related homicides). Many of the 1997 strategies have been institutionalized including MAVI, saturation patrols, rapid response teams, Federal gun prosecutions and more. CODEFOR, a statistical analysis of crime to detect patterns has allowed police to deploy personnel efficiently.

Community Prevention and Intervention Strategies

 Additional information from Mr. Christensen:  6 different housing projects, 52 residential units (mixed income, owner-occupied) were completed.
Neighborhood Parks got funds to extend summer hour programs.
The Health Care Coalition on Violence, led by the Allina Foundation started  the E-Codes, which records data on external injuries.  Data are used to develop prevention programs.
With corporate sponsors, MPS developed the New Vistas School for high-school age parents.   This program leads a young parent to a high school diploma, parenting classes, employment training, health and social services. 
General Mills and two minority-owned food processing companies launched Siyeza, a frozen soul-food company. 
The president of General Mills Foundation formed the "Hawthorne Huddle, a monthly meeting where neighbors report community problems and devise solutions.
Abbott Northwestern Hospital developed a paid employment training program Train to Work, funded by Allina Foundation and others.   Welfare recipients received 120 hours of entry level training and 18 months of mentoring leading to jobs at standard entry wages with full benefits.  Of 50 placed graduates, 33 were still at their jobs after 8 months.   3M created a jobs program that paired low-income participants with "coaches" who help them succeed.

More information from Mr Christensen:

Mr Christensen noted in passing that many of the people in trouble or heading for trouble had reading levels at or near 3rd grade level. [Functional literacy linked to criminal activity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_illiteracy%5D

We secured $1B in Federal resources to improve public transit and the nearby light rail station.
MN HEALS rebuilt Franklin, Lake Street and Chicago Avenues. 
As Phillips became a growth area in the city, crime went down.   That's the Phillips Neighborhood story.

MN HEALS 2.0 – The Next Chapter

Many of the responses created after 1997 are now standard operations: Train to Work, New Vistas, The Gang Task Force, Saturation Patrols.

However, Covid lock-downs and other factors led to a new rise in crime, which was more violent. 2021 saw some 600 attempted or successful car jackings; a spate of carjacking in Edina let suburbs know this crime was spreading.

The first meeting for MN HEALS 2.0 included mayors, county commissioners, law enforcement, business and faith leaders. Leaders had a contentious meeting in January of 2022,*** which led to H.C. Attorney Freeman’s announcement of the formation of MN HEALS 2.0, a public-private partnership among mayors, county commissioners, law enforcement, business leaders and faith leaders.

From a bulletin issued by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office 9/1/22 ****

Representatives from the original HEALS reminded the attenders that public safety gains could best be achieved with a cross-sector approach. The committee made the following adjustments early in 2022:

  1. The HCAO blocked our prosecutions to a special team.
  2. Juvenile Court, led by Judge Mark Kappelhoff, blocked out carjacking cases to judges on a rotating basis.
  3. U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced that every federal prosecutor in the U.S. The Attorney’s Office would take on violent crime cases in addition to their other work, and this included the prioritization of violent carjacking cases committed by suspects ages 18 and older. HCAO retained juvenile cases.
  4. Detention policies were reviewed with all MN HEALS 2.0 members and assurances given on detention for suspects.
  5. The State of Minnesota has increased its mutual aid into Minneapolis, with a campaign focus on motor vehicle stops.
  6. All Hennepin County suburbs have embedded social workers with police departments.

Carjacking cases submitted to the HCAO for review are down, but clearance rates remain low, thus MN HEALS 2.0 will continue to focus on carjackings. .
Clearance rates are the next issue to address. [See https://www.courtools.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/9614/courtools_appellate_measure3_clearance_rates.pdf%5D
Because over 70% of carjackings were committed in Minneapolis or by Minneapolis residents, MN HEALS 2.0 focus has remained on Minneapolis for now. A meeting later in Sept will have suburban initiatives highlighted.


US Attorney Andrew Luger and HC Attorney Mike Freeman, with their senior teams, have mapped out a plan to share prosecutorial responsibility.
THe HCAO launched a Chief’s Roundtable, which allows police chiefs across the county to conduct care reviews with the chief civil and criminal deputies from the HCAO.

In May 2022, Attorney Freeman recommended that the MN HEALS 2.0 work plan be broken down into three committees

Amanda Harrington leads the Early Intervention Committee - The Early Intervention Committee proposed an evaluation framework for proposals into HEALS, with (now approved) recommendations on programming.
Louis King leads the Prevention Committee - The Prevention Committee recommended a plan to expand embedded social workers and expand technology across the County. 
Mark Osler leads the Response to Violent Crime Committee - The Response to Violent Crime Committee's report is in Mark Osler's HEALS document, below.

1) Address the outstanding warrants in Minneapolis for serious violent crimes and those most likely to commit them. Renew the U.S. Marshals Task Force and encourage other task force activity. Promote multi-jurisdictional task forces because of low police staffing. Aligning policies between jurisdictions is crucial to maintaining mutual aid and partnered resources.
2) Improve clearance rates. ….[N]o intervention more immediately prevents future violence than clearing the streets of those who have committed violent crimes. Even drug or weapons interdiction … cannot compare with public safety gains earned by improving the homicide, carjacking, and violent crime clearance rates. Minneapolis homicides currently have a clearance rate of 38% and carjackings of 12%. The Response to Violent Crime Committee report proposes an immediate infusion of investigators into MPD ….The U.S. Department of Justice has funding available through Project Safe Neighborhoods that may be used to increase investigative capacity within MPD. Osler invited MPD to coordinate with this infusion of investigators and offered his committeee’s help going forward. Chief Amelia Huffman accepted the invitation at the August 15 meeting
3) Continue geographic focus. Osler noted that the hot spot efforts in Minneapolis may lead to regional gains in increasing the clearance rate and executing outstanding warrants.

*https://secure.allinahealth.org/site/SPageNavigator/donation_landing_2022_buttons.html (Click on the Allina Health Foundation Initiatives)

** https://www.policeforum.org/

***https://www.startribune.com/twin-cities-mayors-police-chiefs-prosecutors-join-forces-on-rising-crime-car-theft-carjacking/600134581/ also https://www.startribune.com/fresh-thinking-needed-on-fighting-crime/600136276/

****https://www.hennepinattorney.org/-/media/cao/news/2022/jul-sept/cao-mn-heals-9-1-22.pdf

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

NB: No reports from CPS Ali, HCAO, or MAO because of the holiday. The following is the statistical report from the MPD Crime Dashboard

Charge 9/12-10/10 Last year
Assault 80 66
Incl. Domestic Ast 9 5
Burglary, B&E 31 48
Vandalism 66 48
Homicide 0 0
Larceny/Theft 222 217
MV Theft 68 73
Robbery 7 25
Incl. carjacking 1 8
Sex offenses 8 16
Stolen property 2 4
Weapons violations 9 5

Sept.Report, Part 1: Transit Safety, presented by Lt. Jason Lindner, MTPD (with Youtube link)

The meeting was called to order on Zoom at 6:30 with 18 attenders.  

Our speaker this month was Lt. Jason Lindner of the Metro Transit Police Dept. He has been in law enforcement for almost 24 years, 18 years with Metro Transit. 

The Metro Transit Police Dept. is responsible for a huge jurisdiction; it covers  8 counties and 90 cities.  If any place in those 8 counties has a bus route or trainline, MTPD is responsible for civilian safety.   That is not only a lot of territory, it’s home to a widely diverse population. 

Like other law enforcement agencies, the MTPD has been impacted by social issues, by health and safety issues, and by staffing issues.  The officers of the MTPD were here before all this happened.  They’ve worked through the pandemic and all the other issues, and they’re still here, working with their communities.   They intend to continue to build partnerships with all the communities they serve.

Crimes, misdemeanor and felony. 

As we went into the pandemic shutdown, ridership was way down and the trains were calm.   Now ridership is coming back up. Crime at all levels is increasing again.  During the shut down, Courts were requested to not jail people who were considered less of a threat to society.   Close quarters, as found in jails, promote the spread of Covid.  Prisoners could contact the virus in jail and then take it with them on release.  It also worked the other way: someone who was infected (but hadn’t developed symptoms) and jailed could bring Covid into the jail endangering other prisoners and staff.  Health authorities requested that people who were not considered dangerous be released to home monitoring and other strategies.  

A downside is that Courts learned that early release to home monitoring and other strategies made hearings difficult to arrange.  In consequence, the Courts’ caseloads got backed up, and they’re still digging out.   More people were on the streets and trains, a shift in ridership which impacted the Transit Police.

During the shut down, Courts were requested to not jail people who were considered less of a threat to society.   Close quarters, as found in jails, promote the spread of Covid.  Prisoners could contact the virus in jail and then take it with them on release.   Courts learned that early release to home monitoring and other strategies made hearings difficult to arrange.  In consequence, the Courts’ caseloads got backed up, and they’re still digging out.   More people were on the streets and trains, a shift in ridership which impacted the Transit Police

However, although the transit system does deal with some felony level crime, most of the crime the MTPD deals with is on a lower level, so called “Quality of Life” crimes, like smoking on a bus or train, loud music, verbal arguments, drug and narcotics issues.  

MTPD Staffing

Two years ago, the MTPD had about 140 sworn officers.   Today we’re at 108 and that’s with 7 recruits who just hit the street 2 weeks ago.   They won’t be ready to work alone for about 4 months.  We lose officers to other agencies and to retirement. 

Fortunately, the Met Council worked to stop the loss by passing a wage increase and by showing support in other ways.  Members of the Council have been coming on ride-alongs to better understand the job.   We know they value what we’re doing. 

Management has had some instability, but we have an interim Chief of Police right now.  We’re stabilizing.

Policing that huge area with a force of just over 100 officers can be daunting.   The MTPD augments the force when they can, using Community Service Officers and Ambassadors throughout the agency.     [EQ: A July 15, 2021 Star Tribune article outlined what CSOs do and how they are keeping trains and buses safer for riders.   See: https://www.startribune.com/metro-transit-to-deploy-community-service-officers-on-trains-buses/600078164/]   Transit Police work overtime for special events and cooperate with other agencies when they request our service.

Most recently UMPD Chief Clark asked for our help to support the “Back to School Initiative”  at the U of M.  In response, the MTPD ran several extra details during move-in week and the first week of school, just to add a higher presence, especially on the West Bank, East Bank and Stadium Village stations. Our CSOs and Ambassadors also helped the students get used to the new U of MN Universal Transit Pass, (and to make sure the system was working).   This program, which added 36,000 new passes, just rolled out this month.

This example highlights the fact that with 8 counties and 90 cities, the many police departments across the cities and counties cooperate and support each other.   We are all in this together.  

Responding to stories of concern published in several media (NextDoor and the S’Trib.) and questions from CHAT :

From NextDoor:  People attending a late night event Downtown found themselves stranded:   Lights on, no trains coming.   They found no signage and no means of communicating with MTC.  The people reporting had money for an Uber, but when their ride came, others were still standing at that station. 

Answer:  We urge people to be “Informed Transit Riders”.   The best way to do that is to use the website www.metrotransit.org   All bus schedules and light rail schedules are listed there.   Additionally, this sounds like the incident was a report from a light rail platform; all current schedules are posted there on each station. Be aware that with reduced staffing, the MT has had to cut schedules, so the times people recall  trains running may not be what they are doing now.   The changes are on the posted schedules.   Additionally, if you are on a light rail platform or at a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stop, there is a “real-time” lit sign on the platform telling you how soon to expect the next train. 

He’s worked a few Twins games this year.    The last trains are running about 11:20 PM, which is good to remember, but people must also check the posted schedules for updates. 

Metro Transit sends out special alerts on Facebook and Twitter.  People can also call Transit Information at (612) 373-3333.

EQ: Two years ago 2-PAC was told about a Transit service for people who are concerned about a situation on a bus or train.   The service is still a safety feature on buses and trains.   See https://www.metrotransit.org/textforsafety   for a brief explanation of this emergency service.   A text to this site goes to the Transit switchboard operator who notifies MTPD officers and decides whether to notify MPD officers as well.   Additionally, all people riding buses AND trains are all being recorded in real time.   If you want more information about this safety feature, a call to Transit Information, (612) 373-333 (select option 2) will connect you with an informed operator.

Question from the Chat:   Why are trains being reduced from three car trains to two cars?

Answer:   That’s staffing again.   MTC is trying out different solutions to deal with low staffing.   It’s not just a shortage of officers or drivers.   There’s also a shortage of mechanics, especially light rail mechanics. 

Changing frequency is another way to handle low staffing. If the MTC is short of operators, it wants to hit the numbers posted on the schedule.  If the schedule says a unit will show up every fifteen minutes, then a unit must show up as scheduled.  

A third issue is dealing with more aggressive riders.   We hoped that reducing the number of cars from 3 to 2 would benefit policing.  We have 70 to 80 trains running at any given time.  We hoped that by reducing the amount of space on the train, pushing the bad element into a smaller space, we’d be able to control situations better.  

However, that was “derailed.”  Coming out of the pandemic, when riders came back to the trains, they wanted more space to limit the chance of Covid spread so the third car was put back on.  It’s a balancing act:  We need to support increased ridership, to keep the  riders and trains safe, to keep the trains running on time —  all of that with reduced staffing at every level.

Last week was a good example of “rider demand”.   Over the weekend, we had a Twins game, a Gophers game, and the Vikings Football opener.   That’s a lot of extra demand and MTC ran three car trains.  Including a concert before the Vikings game, MTC had 6,000+ people on the BlueLine, pre- and post-game, the Green line was near 3,500 people, pre- and post-    That adds up to nearly 19,000 people moved safely and on time, just on the trains.

From the S’Trib:   During the Pandemic traffic slowdown, airport employees, who had always parked at Humphrey terminal,  had been given parking at the Lindbergh Terminal if that was their work location.   As air traffic started to pick up again, they were told to return to parking at Humphrey.   Some employees reported they felt unsafe on the train that runs between the terminals.   What has MTPD discovered about these complaints?

Answer:  Everyone’s concerns are valid.   A person either feels good in a situation or they don’t.   We have a good partnership with the Airport PD.  Immediately after hearing that complaint, the MTPD ran some extra details down there.   Neither crime stats nor observations support the assertion that the trains between Lindburgh and Humphrey terminals are  hotspots for crime. Since data does not support the complaint, Airport PD and MTPD began to wonder if some people just didn’t want to park at Humphrey and used a complaint to agitate.

Question from the Chat:   Would you reveal the hotspots on the Green and Blue Lines?

Answer:  Franklin and Lake Street are two hotspots  for us.  [Later he mentioned the US Bank station as a lesser site — EQ]  We know what the trains are; we know the feelings people have; we’re not happy either.   If you’ve used those stations or driven past on your bike, you’ve seen a lot of broken glass and trash, and people loitering, just hanging out, and not using the stations to wait for the next train.  These are Quality of Life issues.

Just this month, on Sept. 9, Metro Transit kicked off a Safety and Security Action Plan.  It includes 40+ action items to improve conditions on buses, trains, and stations,  to support employees and to engage customers and partners. 

Lt. Lindner is in charge of one of those initiatives, working with a private security firm.   Together they’ll put officers from the security firm at the Franklin light rail station for a first site, fine tune it and then expand the program from there.  The program has been slow to start up.   Security companies have the same trouble we have with hiring people.   We’ve had more officers down there for the last month, trying to “soften that up.”   When the security company officers show up, we’ll find out if more officers on site makes the difference.   It’s a “Pilot Program”, the first time using the program to see if it makes a difference.

Question from Chat:  Why can’t you just move those people out?

Answer:  this is an issue that was discussed by Lt. Ruberto, who created the Homeless Action Team (HAT) which he presented to 2-PAC  in July, 2019.  This program is still in action and we’re not changing it.   [Read the report at https://courtwatch2pac.com/2019/07/28/july-2-pac-transit-police/  The report includes the “Text for Safety” link, and instructions on using it:  https://www.metrotransit.org/textforsafety  — I checked  EQ]  

Lt. Lindner offered an extended tribute to the work that the Homeless Action Team provides.  They partner with other outreach agencies to offer services of all kinds.   Like everyone else, the HAT program is having financial and staffing issues.   Their outreach partners have had budgets cut and some shelters have actually closed.   Additionally, HAT used to have 8 people, now it’s down to 4.

If people are causing issues on Metro Transit/Met Council property, we want to send out the HAT team to offer services to those people. Like other forces, because of short staffing, we have to go into “reactive” policing instead of “proactive” policing.  You can’t just arrest your community out of social problems.   Also there is a reluctance in the courts to charge people.   During the pandemic, there were times in certain counties when they would not take people in for certain misdemeanors.   At a certain point, Ramsey County would not allow MTPD to bring people in who did not have a Ramsey County warrant.   Since officers couldn’t arrest anyone if they knew the offender was wanted in a different county, they could only “advise” the offender and send them on their way.    That’s not a WIN for anyone.

Question from Chat:  Do you have embedded social workers on MTPD?   Do the HAT workers use social psychology training to do their work?

Answer:   They have training most of us do not have.   I won’t call them social workers, but they do have advanced training in that field.  We also partner with outreach organizations and work side by side to assist people with social needs.  We have not gone down the path of “embedded social workers” but we do have help on a daily basis.  We have partners with those skills; we can get help from the state and other places. also.   The more help we can throw at people who have issues, the better off for all of us.

Hopeful notes:   Although the MTPD is down some 35 officers, the Met Council has given the PD budget advances for 15 additional officers for each of the last two years.   The authorized force is now at 170.  That means the money is sitting here for sixty more officers.*    Transit intends to expand.   As the lines expand, we’ll hire the officers to keep the new lines safe.  We can boost our HAT team, our street teams, and our Force.  We can address the Green Line and Blue Line issues much more effectively [and proactively] with a full force.

 * If you know someone who  might be a good officer, ask them to think about what they will find with the Met Transit.  https://www.metrotransit.org/transit-police-careers  I see a note about pay at $95,000 after four years.   People with a high school diploma can start (part time) at $25/hour while they’re working on their credentials to become a career officer.

Addendum to Lt Lindner’s report on train safety.  

Last fall, a U of MN staff member was pushed down by someone  leaving a Deli in Blegen Hall on the West Bank.   The assailant ran out and boarded the Green Line train that was just pulling in.   Six months later, he pled guilty after viewing the U of MN videos that showed him shoving her down, then followed him to the light rail station. Transit cameras picked him up on the station and documented his ride to a distant station where he left the train and was met by Officers who knew what he looked like and had arrived to take him in.  EQ:  I have known about the U of MN campus security cameras since they were installed, but asked if Transit videos worked the same way.  

When I asked about coordination of video cameras, Lt. Lindner sent me a link to the following: https://online.fliphtml5.com/grquv/eamf/    See the story on page 18. 

View the meeting on Youtube:  https://youtu.be/AI9Ki70sbBE

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

Minneapolis MN 55418
e-quas@umn.edu

Sept. Report, Part 2: State of the Precinct, Attorneys’ reports and MN HEALS 2.0 Intro.

State of the PrecinctCPS Rashid Ali, reporting

Crime statistics for the 2nd Precinct are still looking good.   [See chart, below]  

The suspect in the homicide on Cole Avenue has been charged.   That was a domestic dispute.

If you recall, about a year ago, Crime Prevention Specialists were moved from being MPD employees to Neighborhood Community Relations.  CPSs will be moving back to MPD by the end of the year.   Rashid will come back to 1911 Central.   [EQ: Excellent!] 

Also the City Council confirmed Dr. Cedric Alexander as Minneapolis’ first Community Safety Commissioner.   He has already mentioned he wants to hire more CPS staff.   Rashid has been covering all of the Second Precinct since Nick Juarez moved to UMPD.  The Second Precinct originally had three people: 1 for the Precinct above Broadway, 1 for the Precinct below Broadway, AND 1 for the Dinkytown area.  

[Star Trib article cited here lists Dr. Alexander’s credentials and experience:  https://www.startribune.com/cedric-alexander-nominated-to-serve-as-minneapolis-first-community-safety-commissioner/600188406/

We’ve seen a slight down turn of crime in the Dinkytown area.   MPD and UMPD have stepped up patrols to keep that trend going.   We have seen  some shots fired in the last couple weeks.   The Precinct is looking for people to put in overtime hours, since we’re still short staffed. 

Move in week and first week of classes often show an uptick of crimes of opportunity as folks moving in are not familiar with recommendations for keeping themselves and their property safe in Minneapolis.  We have reports of unattended laptops and unlocked mopeds  and bikes disappearing.    Rashid and others are spreading the word about clearing possessions out of cars, keeping cars, and residential doors and windows locked and more. 

Crime in the 2nd Precinct – last 28 days through 9/11:

Charge20222021

Assault                                          69        83

   (Includes domestic ag.aslt.          8         11

Burglary (brk & entering)               24        38

Vandalism  (prop.destr.)                66        56

Homicide                                         1          0

MV Theft                                        63        57

Robbery                                         11        10

      (incl.carjacking)                         8         11

Sex Offenses                                   1        10             

Stolen Property offenses                 0          3

Weapon Law violations                    7          6  

Gunshot victims                               2          2

These stats were taken from the MPD Crime Dashboard.  YOU can access that at  https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/government-data/datasource/crime-dashboard/

Hennepin County Attorney’s Office –  Atty. Sandra Filardo:   No updates to report.

City of Minneapolis Attorney’s Office  – Nnamdi Okoronkwo reported that on Friday, Sept 9, the City Council approved the appointment of Kristyn  Anderson, who will start Sept. 26.    [https://www.startribune.com/kristyn-anderson-to-serve-as-minneapolis-city-attorney/600204956/  ]   Atty Okoronkwo is hopeful that her appointment will lead to decisions that will speed up the work to dig out  from last winter’s caseload.

MN HEALS 2.0, stands for Minnesota Hope, Education and Law and Safety, revised.

Emilie brought up a story in the S’Trib about this program.  

In January, Attorney Mike Freeman announced that he had asked mayors, county commissioners, law enforcement, business and faith leaders to convene in a public-private partnership called MN HEALS 2.0  

History:

MN HEALS was the successful cooperative program that Atty.  Freeman used to abate crime in Minneapolis in 1997.   That year, Minneapolis was tagged “Murderapolis” because of our high crime rates.   MN HEALS focused tightly on the Phillips neighborhood, which was identified as a core source of actors.

Freeman organized the 16 criminal justice jurisdictions that served the Phillips neighborhood.   MN HEALS promoted partnerships between police and probation officers, safety centers, youth jobs programs, community and business leaders. As a result, violent crime declined by 62% in ten years, and murder fell in Minneapolis’ Third Precinct from 26 in 1995 to five in 2002.

In January, 2022, Freeman called for a resurrection and expansion of that successful program.  MN HEALS 2.0 will cover all Hennepin County.  It will focus on the most serious of violent crimes, suburban as well as urban, and have a particular emphasis on recent violent juvenile carjackings. MN HEALS 2.0 will be aligned with other existing partnerships across jurisdictions within Hennepin County, including the City of Minneapolis and the existing Hennepin County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee.

Participants will include representatives from cities across the county, and members of police and other law enforcement organizations. It includes embedding a social worker in every suburban police department for help with violence interruption.   Joining HCAO are other supporters including the Mpls Downtown Council, The Downtown Improvement District, and Minnesota Business Partnership. 

Religious leaders are already involved, among them The Rev. Jerry McAfee who is pointing to the economic environment that drives criminal activity.  He is quoted in a Star tribune article on MN HEALS 2.0, “We can’t put change entirely on law enforcement.  Every resident has to play their role.   I continue to be amazed that there are more good people than bad people.”

MN HEALS 2.0 news reports and bulletins:

HCAO – https://www.hennepinattorney.org/news/news/2022/January/hennepin-county-mn-heals-1-10-2022

CBS – https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/twin-cities-crime-mike-freeman/

KARE 11 – https://www.kare11.com/article/news/crime/hennepin-county-attorney-calls-politicians-business-leaders-form-mn-heals-2/89-a7a1611b-ece5-4871-9289-0219a0c9a557

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQyEqg173As

FOX News – https://www.fox9.com/news/hennepin-county-attorney-announces-new-partnership-to-address-rising-crime

The original 1997 program in detail:  https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh176/files/pubs/gun_violence/profile07.html

I hope we’ll get more information about progress with this program in October.

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Hennepin Co. Attorney Mike Freeman Launches HEALS 2.0 Partnership  see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQyEqg173As

August Report: Restorative Justice

Program:   Restorative Justice, Tina Sigel, presenter

The meeting was called to order at  6:31pm; 11 people attended.  

Our speaker is Tina Sigel, Program Manager for Restorative Justice.   Ms Sigel last spoke to 2-PAC in 2017. 

Ms Sigel requested that I replicate only her PowerPoint in this report, and suggested you watch and listen to the YouTube recording of the meeting.   That recording includes both Ms Sigel’s expansion from the PowerPoint outline and her responses to questions from people attending.  https://youtu.be/bymBfRg1xZI

Ms Siegel began by defining the differences between the Criminal Justice System and Restorative Justice

Offering some framework, the traditional criminal justice system and Restorative Justice look at crime through different Paradigm Assumptions. 

The basis of the Criminal Justice System is ownership:

  • Offender is defined by deficit; victim is defined by losses.
  • Crime is an individual act with individual responsibility.
  • The Criminal justice system controls crime. 
  • Beliefs: Punishment is effective.   Threat of punishment deters crime.   Punishment changes behavior.

Restorative Justice:

  • Offender is defined by capacity to make reparation; victim is defined by capacity to participate in the process and to heal. 
  • Crime has individual and social dimensions of responsibilities. 
  • Crime control lies primarily in the social/economic system.
  • Punishment is only effective for short term behavior change.  Relationships are more powerful than punishment for long term behavior change.

Justice Lenses:

Retributive:                                 Restorative:

1) What law was broken?                                     1) Who has been hurt?

2) Who did it?                                                       2) What are  their needs?

3) What punishment do they deserve?                 3) What are the obligations and whose are they?  

Three pillars of Restorative Justice:

Harms and Needs

Obligations

Engagement

Restorative Justice Community Action  –  a brief history.

1997 –  The Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) launched the Central City Neighborhood Partnership (CCNP) Community Conferencing program to address the level of livability crimes in the area.  Over time, as the positive potential of utilizing restorative justice practices became evident, the program grew in response.

2005 – The CCNP volunteers and community participants established RJCA as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in order to build capacity.

2010 –  RJCA expanded the service area to include all Minneapolis neighborhoods which were addressing  misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses. 

2010 – Remodeled and established the current Youth Community Conferencing program (including Ramsey County)

2011 – RJCA Community Conferencing became a requirement for Hennepin County Drug Court clients.

2013 – RJCA became the restorative partner for Hennepin county diversion to address low-level 5th Degree Felony.

Our Community Conferencing process continues to facilitate meaningful accountability through involving offenders, victims, and community members in meaningful dialogue to address harms and making amends.   Despite Covid challenges, in 2021, we held 250 community conferences.
What is Restorative Group Conferencing?

  • Types
    • Peace-making circles, Victim-Offender Dialogue, Family Group Conferencing, Community Conferencing. 
  • Admission of responsibility by offender
  • Voluntary for Victim
  • Incident-based, behavior-based
  • Focuses on empowering participants
  • Looks at underlying causes
  • Comes to consensus agreement
  • For adults or juveniles, any point in life.

Discussion of Impact:

Referred participant: 

  • Tells what happened                    
  • How they feel about it
  • Who they think was impacted
  • How they’ve dealt with it since then.

Community members and direct victims (when applicable) speak about:

  • How this behavior has affected them personally,
  • And/or how it impacted the community.
  • How they feel about what happened.

Create an agreement:

The Referred Participant (RP) and Community Members, through consensus, create a plan to repair

    harm/make amends, and move forward in a positive way.  

To help craft a plant that feels restorative, agreements could include:

  • Community Service
  • Apology and/or gratitude letters
  • Personal development activities
    • 1) Written reflection, essay, journal
    • 2) Educational, employment, self help guidance
    • 3) Donations.
    • 4) Creative expression (art, music, etc.)

The Referred Participant has 60 days to complete the agreement.  Youth have 30 days. 

Important:  Once the participants have completed their agreements, their cases are dismissed.  That is a very important part of Restorative Justice.  That dismissal is very important for someone who is trying to get a job or get into a training program.   They won’t be held back by a record.Goals of Conferencing:

Referred Participant Accountability

  • Understanding better the harm done and how many people may have been affected
  • Being accountable to the person harmed (when applicable), or
  • Being accountable to the community
  • Having responsibility to repair the harm.

Community Accountability

  • To provide perspective on how community is impacted
  • To engage, be curious, gain understanding
  • To participate in the agreement
  • To identify and address, to the extent possible, the underlying community conditions
  • Provide support

WHY DOES RESTORATIVE JUSTICE WORK?

  • Hear the impact of their actions versus paying an arbitrary fine.
  • Second chance / opportunity for personal transformation
  • Get and give empathy
  • Address root causes — not just moving crime around 
  • Strengthens, builds and nurtures COMMUNITY.

Additional Programming (since 2020)

The Hennepin County Youth Restorative Justice Disposition Program empowers youth on probation to shape their own meaningful accountability process in conjunction with their web of support, community circle keepers, and a probation officer.   The group decides on accountability measures, then meets regularly to monitor and celebrate progress

The Reimagining Public Safety Project is piloting a neighborhood-based public safety model.  Through a Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention grant, RJCA as partners with Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute and community leader Manu Lewis to guide a neighborhood organization in creating a public safety model that fits the needs and desires of local neighborhoods.

We became a lead agency in Minnesota for the TRUST Network, a hub of resources for violence interruption and public safety alternatives.

Poster:  Crime Wounds – Justice Heals / Harry Mica and Hoard Zehr  

[Ms Sigel closed with a Restorative Justice poster by Harry Mica and Howard Zehr, titled “Crime Wounds….Justice Heals.   It includes the following:]

image.png

You can read more about R.J. at its website: https://www.rjca-inc.org

Ms Sigel came back with an announcement that the Humphrey Center for the Study of Politics and Governance was airing a very special presentation on August 11.   Like most Humphrey events, this was recorded for future audiences.   You can find the recordings for “A Better Path to Achieving Public Safety” at [tiny url] https://tinyurl.com

If you have trouble with that, contact cspg@umn.edu   The presentation has been divided into 3 parts,
Panel 1: A Conversation with Dr. Cedric Alexander

Panel 2: The Challenge of Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

Panel 3: Next Steps with Attorney General Keith EllisonState of the Precinct

CPS Ali reported a good turnout for National Night Out in the Second Precinct.   He and officers got to as many NNO Sites as they could.

Emilie reminded us that in July, Inspector McGinty stated that the 2nd Precinct had the lowest crime rates in the city.   She checked to see if that held true in August.  28 days’ statistics for the 2nd Precinct in 2022 and 2021 are below, with a 3rd column for 2022  in the 3rd  Precinct. 

Crime                    2022                 2021              2022 in the 3rd Pct.

Assault                      85                     86                  68

   (incl. Domestic)        7                       7                  16

Burglary                    30                      18                107

Vandalism                 78                      69                170

Homicide                    0                       0                     2

Robbery                    21                     16                  69

    (incl.Car-jkng)         5                       3                   25

Stolen property           5                       4                    8

Sex offenses               2                       2                   11

Weapons violation     11                      9                   29

Shots fired                 33                    29                 137

Gunshot wound           4                      5

Pct 4 and 5 topped us in every category also. 

Conclusion:  The Inspector was right.  (The surprise is how wide the spread is between Precincts.)

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

Minneapolis MN 55418
e-quas@tc.umn.edu

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Restorative Justice, Aug. 8, 2022

July Report, Part 1: State of the Precinct – Courtwatch

NOTE:  This report has been divided into 3 parts because of length and detailed information shared by the invited speakers.  They follow this report.

The July 11, 2022 meeting was called to order at 6:35PM with 15 attenders

Housing issues in the 2nd Precinct – Two reports. 

Daniel  La Croix is a Housing Inspector with Minneapolis Inspection Services.   He is here with  Kendre Turonie who leads Off Campus Living at the University.   Off Campus Living has become more and more important since the U no longer can house more than the Freshman class on campus.  U Students now live all across the city, many, perhaps most of them in the 2nd Precinct.  In consequence, renters, property managers and owners all need to know what the Minneapolis Code says about rental property.   They’ll also benefit from learning what services and help are available from City Inspections and from Off campus Living.   

I’ve asked Mr La Croix and Ms Turonie  to talk about issues we all know are common across the Precinct:  noisy neighbors, bad plumbing, poor workmanship and delayed maintenance.   Then there are tenants’ rights and landlords’ rights and property owners’ rights and each of those sets of rights comes with a set of obligations, too, some of which they’ll be spelling out. 

These reports have been issued separately, see Parts 2 and 3.

STATE OF THE PRECINCT — Inspector McGinty

The inspector reviewed Second Precinct trends over the previous 4 weeks.  

Violent crime is still low in comparison with the other precincts in Minneapolis which are reporting 3 or 4 times the rates in the 2nd Pct. — their numbers are running into the double digits and even the low 20s.   We  The worst are carjackings and robberies.   steady or going down We’re seeing a number of stolen cars — we’re sending out community information on how to keep your car safer.   He pointed out that people used to have to crack the steering column to drive off a stolen car, but now you can find videos on TicToc on how to start the car you want to steal.  [EQ: spotted on NextDoor in August:  someone reported “How-To” instructions for stealing Kias using a USB cable (Kia recommends getting  a steering wheel lock, like “the Club”).   Another person reported “same” but for Hyundai.

There was a serious shooting at 6th and Main SE.   An innocent person was shot and was on life support as we met.  

The biggest news  was the 4th of July shooting.  The Inspector met at Kramaczuk’s with concerned citizens.  [Read the report here: https://www.startribune.com/were-in-dire-trouble-after-mass-shooting-july-4th-minneapolis-braces-for-summer-of-gun-violence/600188971/   You’ll find policing statistics at the end of the story.]   Police response by July 11 was to shut down the street at 6th and Main which turned that into a cul-de-sac so people couldn’t drive through.  They also closed off the cul-de-sac that is  at the end of the bridge because this was that gathering place where people shot fireworks at other people and aimed for balconies in surrounding buildings.   Inspector Peterson from the 1st Precinct closed off the south end of the Bridge and kept their side under watch. 

[Additional information:  https://www.startribune.com/fireworks-shot-at-vehicles-buildings-people-for-hours-overnight-in-downtown-minneapolis/600187761/   Significant statistic:  “From 9 p.m. Monday [July 4] to 4 a.m., Tuesday . . . . more than 1,300 calls were made to 911 and more than 80 officers were on duty.  Please do the math on that to better understand why they can’t respond to every call. — EQ] 

Another shooting happened at 6th and Main which sent 6 people to the hospital (all but one self-transported)  Six people were arrested, all were between the ages of 16 and 18.  One was from Minneapolis and the rest from Brooklyn Park.

The next story is the closed down cooperative house at 1721 University.  That has been a trouble address for a long time.   The plans are that this building will be rehabbed.  Since that building has been boarded up, crime has definitely gone down in Dinkytown.  [Both sides of the story:  https://mndaily.com/273244/news/student-co-op-president-vp-speak-on-recent-events/ ]

To end on a Good Note, someone remembered the long-standing request from the Second Precinct to notify them if you are planning  a large public gathering (as for a family or class union or similar.   The Precinct was notified there would be a large planned gathering at Bottineau Park.   Officers were advised in advance to ensure it was a successful and safe event.   Thank you to the planners for notifying the Precinct and to the officers who responded.

COURTWATCH

Holly was in special training so didn’t have time to look for much.   Courts are slowly reverting to in-person hearings.  

The Probation Office is also part of a now-forming Task Force on Gun Violence. 


Addendum: STATE OF THE CITY TRAFFIC

The Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic (HEAT)  campaign reported some welcome statistics;  In July 8 (four days after the July 4 eruption) “Troopers stopped 279 drivers for traffic infractions and issued 52 cirations to motorists who did not hold a valid driver’s license.  Troopers also made 17 arrests, including 11 drivers who were impaired.” The next night it was 250 traffic stops, another 52 drivers who didn’t have a valid license, 20 arrests and another 11 drivers who were impaired.  The State Patrol pub 20 additional troopers in Minneapolis “and its aviation unit [was] watching from the skies…. [Troopers] tagged multiple drivers who had illegal fireworks and arrested several who attempted to flee law enforcement.  In one case, troopers in a helicopter saw a driver throw a firearm while trying to run from police on foot.”  The full story is https://www.startribune.com/street-racing-patrols-stop-hundreds-of-drivers-over-the-weekend/600189301/   

A follow-up story appeared in the S’Trib on July 22 https://www.startribune.com/charges-detail-peril-of-chronic-street-racing-other-antics-at-intersection-takeovers-in-minneapolis/600192386/     This story is about the people who takeover intersections  with very powerful cars that do “doughnuts” at intersections.   Lt. Nelson discussed this several months ago.   Her assertions are all correct: these events are not random, they are planned.   They are also announced on media and they are very dangerous to people who watch them.  We’ve got a start on controlling this.

July report, part 2: Rental housing: city control and response

Housing issues in the 2nd Precinct  

MINNEAPOLIS HOUSING INSPECTION SERVICES — Daniel La Croix

Mr. La Croix began by stating that he appreciates the opportunity to explain residents’ rights.   His objective is to improve livability for all members of the community.

RENTAL PROPERTY —  Rental property in the city must conform to the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances.  Properties must be maintained in a way that will support dignified and safe residency.  

What steps and safeguards are in place if your rental unit doesn’t seem to meet a minimum standard?  Should you call for inspection?

  • Any renter whose dwelling unit exhibits low maintenance or poor maintenance, may call 311 to submit a service request (complaint) requesting  a housing inspector to address the issues.  The housing inspector has 3 days to respond to the renter.
  • Renter Protection:   A renter who submits a complaint may NOT be retaliated against.  
  • The Inspections Dept. has a team called the Rental Liaisons whose specialty is to handle any actions by a property owner that seem retaliatory.   This team will also connect the tenant with Legal Aid and with Homeline to Alternative Housing.
  • If the Inspector sees a clear violation of Code Standards, they will issue orders for a property owner or manager to correct  a violation.  The owner or manager has 30 days to complete the work for most violations.
  • If an owner fails to comply with the orders, several things may happen:
    • They can be cited for non-compliance.   If non-compliance continues for 90 days or involves $1000 worth of citations, the next step is:
    • The case can be sent to the Alternative Enforcement Team which starts a court action against the owner or property manager for non- compliance. 
    • A Hearing Officer would hear the case and set a new deadline for compliance. 

Poor Workmanship

If the Housing Inspector discovers a lower  level of non compliance such as  “poor workmanship”, there may be room for discussion.  Housing inspectors  require meeting minimum standards, and all work performed must  meet a (minimum) professional standard.  For example, if a section of cedar fencing was vandalized and couldn’t be reused, that part of the fencing must be replaced with professional skill, but not necessarily with cedar. 

Sometimes, owners can’t do the necessary repairs: Housing Inspections has a team, The Homeowner Navigator Team, which finds help for people who need to do repairs but who are having physical or financial difficulties (layoff, medical event, etc.), help for Veterans, help for Senior Citizens,  and other organizations to find the resources they need to get the work done on their property.   [EQ:  In the Second Precinct, we are lucky enough to have two resources not found in any other part of Minneapolis.  Southeast Seniors (22 Malcolm St. SE, Mpls MN 55414 or https://www.facebook.com/SESeniors/  ) and the East Side Neighborhood Services (1700 Second St. NE, Mpls MN 55413 or https://www.esns.org/ ) Both have resources for people who need various kinds of housing assistance.  Southeast Seniors only offers help to older residents of SE Minneapolis, as the name suggests.]

CONDUCT ON PREMISES:

 Minneapolis City Ordinance 244.2020  deals with many conduct issues.  Noisy party issues, drug possession, unlawful possession of a weapon, disorderly conduct and more are all under the umbrella of Conduct on Premises.  

If you suspect that a residence  is a problem property in any respect that’s covered by this Ordinance, that’s a time to tap your Crime Prevention Specialist and let them know there’s a property of concern.  Inspections will plan an approach with representatives from the MPD, and Regulatory Services.   Ultimately, it is the rental license owner’s responsibility to bring the tenants and property into compliance.  

Inspector La Croix had to leave for another meeting at that point, but his last expression was that meetings like 2-PAC and other community meetings are how things get fixed.   “Positivity is always around the corner when we put our minds together and act as a community.”

Penalties are spelled out including the penalties for failure  to comply with citations and how managers or owners may lose their rental license.  See: https://library.municode.com/search?stateId=23&clientId=3327&searchText=244.2020&contentTypeId=CODES

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

QQ — Under the umbrella list of on-premises behavior, how explicit is this policy regarding illegal discharge of firearms on premises and nearby in community ?

AA —  [Daniel] Illegal discharge of firearms would fall under State Law, which the City Attorney’s office would take care of for rental properties.  The Hennepin County Attorney’s office would take care of these types of issues on non rental properties.

Know that  before  taking this action,  the city has many tools for enforcement to gain compliance.  

Minnesota statutes  regarding public nuisance include 561.01 and 609.74.

  561.01 NUISANCE; ACTION.  Anything which is injurious to health, or indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, is a nuisance. An action may be brought by any person whose property is injuriously affected or whose personal enjoyment is lessened by the nuisance, and by the judgment the nuisance may be enjoined or abated, as well as damages recovered.

609.74 PUBLIC NUISANCE. Whoever by an act or failure to perform a legal duty intentionally does any of the following is guilty of maintaining a public nuisance, which is a misdemeanor:

(1) maintains or permits a condition which unreasonably annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, morals, comfort, or repose of any considerable number of members of the public; or

(2) interferes with, obstructs, or renders dangerous for passage, any public highway or right-of-way, or waters used by the public; or

(3) is guilty of any other act or omission declared by law to be a public nuisance and for which no sentence is specifically provided.

617.81 NUISANCE; ACTS CONSTITUTING; INJUNCTION; NOTICE.

[EQ:  I’m only going to put a summary here.   The full statute is at:  https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/617.81]

 When you are reading, notice that some actions are nuisances if only one incident occurs over a year, while others call for 2 or more incidents.   Actions include prostitution, gambling, sales, possession or gifts of various controlled substances,  unlawful use or possession of a dangerous weapon as defined in section 609.02, subdivision 6 and more.   There are also specifications involving the number of persons engaged in the behavior, with or without the landlord’s knowledge. Rules  prosecuting attorneys must follow are carefully laid out.

QQ  about the “tiering” of inspections of rental property
AA – viz the “tiering” system of problematic vs problem-free rental properties working — it’s been in place for several years.   [Emilie:   https://www2.minneapolismn.gov/business-services/licenses-permits-inspections/rental-licenses/tiering/   This is a tool that OCL is fully familiar with and uses often.]

QQ —  SE Como had a notorious landlord who rented after having her license revoked.  What does the city do in cases where the owner violates the need for a license and collects money on spaces held open for rent?

AA — The city may start enforcement actions against the owner of the property who doesn’t have a rental license as outlined in 244.1810 (a), copy  is below. The enforcement action may include but limited to,  violation letters issued,   citations being issued, or placarding and vacating the building. We would also work with the residents of the home, we would  provide them information on how to obtain legal representation against the landlord to have all their rent paid reimbursed to them during the time the building was unlicensed. The city in some cases may be able to help with relocation assistance, which then would be charged back to property owner for repayment. — bolding by EQ

244.1810. – License required. (a) No person shall allow any dwelling unit to be occupied, or let or offer to let to another any dwelling unit for occupancy, or charge, accept or retain rent for any dwelling unit unless the owner has a valid license, administrative registration, short term rental registration or provisional license under the terms of this article. The practice of pre-leasing new rental construction shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

QQ –If an owner has a lot of administrative citations regarding code violations, what happens to these citations if the owner fails to address these?

AA — If the citations are unpaid they may be assessed to the County Taxes.

QQ — Thanks, Daniel, for your presentation. I’m curious about the data on complaints, especially, in the University District, e.g., the most common complaints, particularly problematic properties, etc. The OCL newsletter includes a nice summary of crime statistics and a summary of housing complaints would be interesting.

AA –The City is always trying to make the data easily available for residents. Here is a link to the “Data Source” web page. https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/government-data/datasource/     Open the Housing and Development tab there are dashboards available that can be customized searches.