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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. 

July report, part 3: U of MN Off-Campus Housing Office.

Housing issues in the 2nd Precinct  

University of Minnesota, Off-Campus Living – Kendre Turonie, turon001@umn.edu, 612-625-8939

Off-Campus Living was created on the Twin Cities campus in fall 2003.  It was a partial response to the notorious “Hockey Riots” that erupted that year.** 

The primary function of the Off-Campus Living office is to create community with the students who are living off campus, so they’ll have a successful University experience while living off campus, whether they rent in the neighborhoods near the University or they commute from home.    OCL tends to focus on Marcy-Holmes, SE Como and Prospect Park because that’s where the majority of undergraduate University students live.   About 85% of all University students do not live in residence halls.  

Off-Campus Living has a collaborative relationship with the City of Minneapolis. Kendre has been a member of the Southeast Strategic Compliance Team since it started.   The purpose statement of this team:   Coordinate resources and efforts between Regulatory Services, Police Department, and Community Partners to effectively address Noisy and Unruly properties located in SE Minneapolis locations and strengthen confidence in these communities.
This group met monthly from 2010-2020 until Covid interrupted the schedule. [EQ: I have a copy of the original Mpls press release issued when this group was announced.   Contact me for a copy of this public announcement if you’re interested.]

What happens when OCL receives a complaint about a problem property that houses students?

OCL does outreach and follow up where possible when livability concerns are raised about  student-related renter problems.   Before the pandemic, most outreach was done in person — door-knocking by Kendre or student staff. Since pandemic and lockdowns, Kendre tends to use other means, especially phone and email contact.  If a problem property report includes  information about guns in the site, she follows directives from the MPD to make sure it’s safe to make contact at this address.  [EQ: this is the same protocol that social workers and other responders follow when safety is a concern: non-MPD personnel do not go in until the officers know it’s safe for them to do so. Rashid spoke further about this later in the meeting.]

When a party house or other problem property house is identified, Ms Turonie first goes to neighbors around the property to see if they’ve been impacted as well as the reporter.   Generally she gets affirmation from the neighbors.  At that point, she contacts the residents of the house in question to find out what their perspective is.  When she shares neighbors’ perspective of a situation, she takes care to not reveal which neighbors were complaining or reporting.  

Her goal is to educate students about the choices they’ve made and what the consequences of those choices can be.  If they’ve been caught, they’ve been sent a citation.   If they have a citation, they’re likely in violation of the Student Conduct Code.  They have to understand that if they’re hosting parties and  getting  citations for that, those citations have consequences.   [EQ: The Student Conduct Code was last revised June, 2022.   Full revised text is here:  https://regents.umn.edu/sites/regents.umn.edu/files/2022-07/policy_student_conduct_code.pdf     U of MN response to violations ranges from Warning to Revocation of Admission or Degree.]

Ms Turonie has done  a lot of work with Restorative Justice through her office. [EQ: Tina Sigel of Restorative Justice Community Action will present at the August, ’22 meeting.  Restorative Justice has been working with the MPD Second Precinct since 2003.]  

Complaints have changed in the 19 years that OCL has been in existence.   Back then, she was doing direct follow-up on 7-10 party complaints a week.   Now, a complaint she just got is the first one in 18 months.    It will be interesting to see if it stays that way post-Covid.   Facing facts, many SE long-term residents [chiefly older homeowners] have moved away.  Students who have moved in and replaced them may not be as likely to make a complaint.  [EQ: for many reasons, including knowledge of how, where, why to do so.  When those long term residents moved away, they took a lot of generational knowledge with them, making it harder for new, short-term residents to learn helpful information]

Tools and resources to assist student renters  Go to OCL Website: ocl.umn.edu

Look at the tabs at the top of the page to find a lot of information about OCL:  Resource Directory, About us, Renting Near Campus, Live at Home, Volunteer locally, Voter resources, Safety.

The Renting Near Campus tab is where you will find all of our renter resources and information. It has many sub pages: Find A Roommate, Where to Live,  Do Your Research, Legal Questions, Being A Good Neighbor, Things To Consider, Organics Recycling, Renter Education.

If you are a renter, and only have a few minutes available, we suggest you read through the Do Your Research  section. It walks you through specific steps  OCL wants you to take for any and each property before you sign that lease:

  • Step 1 – Check for Valid Rental License. Check if the occupancy  on the lease is valid per the zoning for address.  Verify the actual owner name and rental property contact.
  • Step 2 – In Minneapolis Call 311 and ask if there are any open orders for the property in question or a record of past complaints.  In St. Paul, call 651-226-8989
  • Step 3  – Google the name of the owner and manager (or company) and see what might be revealed
  • step 4  – Check the PUBLIC LISTING for any landlords who are in non-compliance with the University of Minnesota Off Campus Housing Program Policy.
  • Step 5 – Talk to the current tenants of the property you are considering.  Ask if they would rent again or would refer a friend to this property.   See if your prospective rental property has been reviewed on the Student Senate Off-Campus Housing Survey and read through the reviews. 
  • Step 6 – Discuss any concerns you have with the landlord.

The next entry in this list is to look at the Non-Compliance List of the Off-Campus Housing Program Policy. This list is the properties who have 3 or more substantiated or unresolved student initiated complaints with our Student Legal Services. The full policy is printed on this tab. 

The procedure for handling this list changed in fall 2017.   Previously, if a property manager had three or more unresolved complaints filed with Student Legal Services, they were not allowed to recruit tenants on campus and could not participate in “Housing Fairs” and other events, but the list was not advertised.  The Undergraduate Student Government decided students should have full access to the list of problem properties and Off-Campus Living was identified as the site to host the information. 

This policy is owned by three student services:  Off-Campus Student Living, Student Legal Services, Housing and Residential Life.
[It’s now a public document and  worth reading — EQ]  OCL updates the list on the site based on information provided by Student Legal Services.

VERY IMPORTANT:  Most of the problems that OCL, Student Legal Services and HRL hear about  involve security deposit disagreements when it’s time for the manager to return the deposit.  If you choose to rent from one of the properties, take the time to document the condition of the property at move-in and again at move-out.  Do this on paper and document your claims with photographs.   Security deposit disagreements are one of the most common concerns with these properties.

Since property managers started learning about this list, they have been working to get their properties removed.  

More Renter Education

OCL offers renter education in multiple ways.

  • We host online and in person workshops throughout the year, most often in November, February and May.
  • We also have a new online class hosted on Canvas (the student academic platform) – the Renter Education Modules. We have 10 modules that students can take in any order from the comfort of their home to get the information they need to help them have a successful renter experience off-campus.  You need a UMN email address to enroll in the course. If you’re not a current UMN student/account holder, you can request a guest account at my-account.umn.edu/create-guest-acct
Ms Turonie announced  several information sessions coming up:Housing 2023: 
Parent/Family Renter ForumTwo sessions will be live streamed and recorded on Oct. 28 and 30 during Parent/Family Weekend 2022 for 2023 housing search info.   [Contact OCL for details]
Renter Education Workshops are currently offered online throughout fall and spring semesters.
—————————-
** Here’s a recap of the hockey riot events and how the University policing had changed 9 years later: https://mndaily.com/219664/uncategorized/university-police-prepare-potential-hockey-riots/

CPS Rashid Ali, popped in to explain about door-knocking today.   MPD-CPS team has not done door-knocking since the pandemic shut things down.   The reason is two-fold:  Covid, but also because Crime Prevention Specialists  are civilians and do not carry guns.   Door-knocking now must follow the same procedures as other civilian responders, like the mental Health Co-Responders and OCL staff.   They may not enter until an MPD officer has determined the site is safe.   With staffing so far down from full force, there are not enough officers to accompany people from OCL or Crime Prevention Specialists.

QUESTIONS FROM ATTENDERS
QQ — So many new buildings are going up, as along 15th Ave, leading to Dinkytown.   Are there enough students coming in to fill these buildings?
AA — [Kendre] Students fill up what is closest to campus.  As they move there, buildings further away attract people who may not be students, which will have an impact.  At the same time, the current Freshman class has gone up.  Previously the U accepted 5,000 to 5,200 new students but last year’s class was 6,500.   The entire campus population didn’t grow though because that extra 1500 students replaced upperclass students and out of state students who decided to go elsewhere.   The U must keep the population up to keep tuition revenue stable.

QQ — She’s met students  in SE who actually attend Augsburg and knows there are other students from other colleges.   Perhaps this housing information could be shared with those schools also.
AA — [Kendre] Yes! Other schools also have similar positions that do outreach to off-campus students and Kendre tries to connect with them as well.

QQ — Are there ways to get a more accurate number of UMN students living in UD neighborhoods?
AA — [Kendre] We have a senior level work group on campus that is examining the possibility of requiring students to update their local address each time they register, but it has not been approved yet for implementation. It is a challenge. When students move,  updating their local address isn’t a priority for them.

Emilie Quast,

2-PAC Board member

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

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

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

Adult Probation/Parole

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Probation Officer Role:   Agent of the Court.

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

Probation Officer Role:   Community support. 

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

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

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

Probation violations:

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

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

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

Because

Probation isn’t forever.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

Minneapolis MN 55418

e-quas@umn.edu

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

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

2022 2021

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

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

Vandalism       66  up from        49

Homicide           0                        0

Larceny/theft  228  up from     192

M.V. Theft         60 up from        49

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

Sex offenses       8 up from         2

Stolen prop.        1 down from     2 

Weapon law violations **     9  up from         8

Shots fired calls  22 up from       14

Gunshot wounds  5  up from         2

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:  Lt. Nelson reporting:

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

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

MPD will still respond to 911 calls. 

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

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

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

COURTWATCH

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

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

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council

e-quas@umn.edu


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case Study — homicide stabbing

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

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

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

Thanks for solid work go to the MPD Forensics Division!

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

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

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

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

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

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

April Report, Part 1: CSI: Minneapolis!

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

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

WHAT IS THE FORENSICS DIVISION?

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

Qualifications for becoming a Forensic Scientist 1 are:

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

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

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

FORENSICS DIVISION SECTIONS:

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

Videos are obtained from:

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

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

Firearms and toolmark examination

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

Field operations

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

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

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

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

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

Examination and comparison of latent prints. 

Assist the medical examiner’s office in making identifications.

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

Crime scenes: 

What do we know so far?

Statements from officers, witnesses & victims.

Scene walkthrough:

Initial search for items of interest

Evidence labeled with evidence markers

Search Points of entry and exit, any disturbed areas

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

Additional Documentation

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

Walk-through of the scene from beginning to the end

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

Done as close to the incident time as possible.

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

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

Rough sketch done at the scene using approximate measurements

Measurements taken to fixed landmarks

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

Scene processing:

Evidence processing performed by Field Operations:

Latent impression

Biological evidence collection: DNA, blood, semen, saliva

Footwear & tire track collection

Firearms collection

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

Additional search tools can be utilized following the visual search:

Metal detector,

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

FINGERPRINTS:

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

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

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

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

Friction ridge skin is persistent throughout life.  

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

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

Latent print processing techniques: 

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

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

Chemicals:  different surfaces are processed with specific chemicals.  

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

           The composition of the item being handled.

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

The environment may preserve or corrupt fingerprints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In addition to Fingerprint Analysis, Forensics involves

Toxicology, the study of toxins and drugs

Anthropology: the study of skeletal remains

Pathology: determining the cause of death

Entomology: study of insects

Odontology: dental evidence

Serology: study of body fluids

Bloodstain pattern analysis

Document examination: study of questioned documents

Accounting:  examination of financial records to uncover financial crimes.

Case Study — homicide stabbing

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

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

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

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

Thanks for solid work go to the MPD Forensics Division!

QUESTIONS:

QQ: Do you coordinate with other agencies>

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

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

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

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

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

QQ: What surfaces yield the best prints?

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

QQ: Can you change your own fingerprints?

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

QQ: How do you take shoe prints?

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

QQ: How many personnel are assigned to a scene?

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

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

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

and

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

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@mn.edu