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Stunt Driving control, Dinkytown 5/4 invasion, Gang arrests by RICO

The meeting was called to order on May 8 at 6:38, 7  attenders. This was an abbreviated meeting. 

We started with a request for response from our MPD and Attorney attenders on the Star Tribune article about Coon Rapids new ordinance cracking down on bad driving behaviors, including people driving “burnouts” or doughnuts and similar stunts, people hanging out of car windows to get high-fives from bystanders and bystanders videotaping the stunts that are now offenses.

Question:  What’s your reaction to the new Coon Rapids ordinance?

Lt Nelson opened:   Hopefully, once C.R. starts charging people, word will get out.   They have been charging people with some lower level offenses.  

Here in the 2nd Precinct, we are preparing [for the stunt drivers] and have put in orders to have the steel plates put out by the Stonearch Bridge and “dragon teeth” installed to cut off 6th and Main.   They will be placed without cutting off too much access to the steam plant, so that people working there will still have access.  Those impediments will stay in place through Halloween.

This year we’re addressing these issues by starting with what we did last year.   As new issues come up, we’ll address them. 

QQ from the chat:  Won’t these events just move to another place?   You’d be just chasing them from place to place.

Lt. Nelson:  A lot of the promoters have been identified and are being followed on social media.  Authorities have created a metro-wide task force to follow events on social media, identify the leaders, and watch for promotions.  This task force includes people from Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, the State Troopers and others.

Atty. Okoronkwo.   Charging people is sometimes going to be difficult.  If someone is just a passenger in a car, a charge might be difficult.   It’ll be better to go after the drivers and  the promoters.    Additionally, he’d like to see a couple of changes to the law which would make a difference.  We don’t use forfeiture the way we could.  The city used to use forfeiture for DWI cases and prostitution cases (especially when the prostitutes were driven in from other cities, for example.   The 3rd conviction would result in forfeiture.  That stopped in 2019.   [EQ: see]   Stunt driving events have led to at least 4 people killed, 2 in the Second Precinct.   People in the City Attorney’s office are trying to sift out what we’d need for a state-wide bill.

Comment from HCAO Haglund:  it’s hard to get a 3rd degree charge elevated to the felony level which would move the charge from MplsAO to the HCAO.

Comment:  Courts in several states have determined that a vehicle can be considered a lethal weapon, but it seems to be going state by state and prosecution needs to prove intent.  Is that relevant?? 

Atty Okoronkwo :  Right now [In Minneapolis] the most you can charge is reckless driving, which is not an enhanceable charge.   Reckless driving is not going to move to the felony level.  Third degree riot is our best tool right now, but the charge has to meet certain criteria.   We don’t have the teeth in place, right now.

HCAO Haglund:  There’s also the question of premeditation, which is hard to charge against someone driving.  Someone might throw it into the argument just to see if it sticks, but…  if the Bench says “no” then the Bench said “no”.

Atty Okoronkwo:  When we charge a case, we [build the case] so the charge can go forward.

Lt. Nelson gave a summary of the events in Dinkytown May 4-7

On Thursday night [May 4], some 50 older youth (ages16-22)  drove to Dinkytown, converging on Burrito Loco.   They picked a few people, surrounded them and began punching them.   They were throwing rocks at people and throwing drinks at people.  

The two videos she reported on are from social media: 

  • A Thursday video shows a young man thrown down and stomped in front of the Tobacco store.  Lt Nelson talked to the young man’s  uncle on the 8th and learned that he does have a broken nose but had not lost any teeth and didn’t suffer a broken jaw, ribs, or shoulder blades.
  • The second video is from either Friday or Saturday.  A young woman is surrounded by attackers who aim “karate” or “rockette” kicks at her head.

The 2nd Precinct and UMPD have put a plan together, starting with traffic control.  That was in place on Saturday night and Sunday, which helped keep the juveniles away.  

Question:  Arrests?  10 arrests.  2 were booked and the rest were cited for curfew  violation and [word unclear] “fleeing the police on foot”???

One of the people identified on Thursday came back on Friday carrying an aluminum bat.  He also  had commercial fireworks on him  [a mortar]  That’s significant because a week before, people at the Holiday on Central Ave. had activated a gas pump and were pumping gas into trash barrels and on the ground.   They were throwing fireworks at the gas,  apparently trying to ignite it.

QQ: Where are these people from?

Car tags were traced by address:  8 are Minneapolis cars and 35 are not registered at a Minneapolis address.  The out of town cars are from Rochester, St. Paul, Columbia Heights, Eden Prairie, Edina, Woodbury, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park.  One car is registered in Illinois.

CPS Ali pointed out that these people find each other on social media.   The motivation is to gain status on social media.  The more dangerous the stunt, the higher you are in terms of getting noticed, attracting followers, getting recognition.   It’s no single site, videos are posted on Instagram, Twitter, TicToc — sites that have no filter, no rules. They do NOT appear on Facebook.  The biggest danger is that other kids will see what one person did, and try to outdo it.    CPS Ali pointed out that if the group of kids (who were filmed attempting to start a fire at a gas pump) had succeeded in blowing up that gas station, that would have become a new trend to top. 

The Star Tribune covered a neighborhood meeting of officials and concerned residents which met University Baptist Church.  See tiny URL:

QQ:  Moving on to a better topic, the Star Tribune carried a story that  Federal Prosecutors have brought charges against 45 people, members of two gangs in Minneapolis.   See the full print story here:    Asked about the significance of this story, Atty Okoronkwo pointed out that the prosecutors charging these cases are very, very good.  Their successful prosecution rate is about 90%   

EQ: I hope we’ll hear more about this as our attorneys learn more.    FYI, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is explained here in a 9-page article from the Labor Law Journal

FROM THE MPD CRIME DASHBOARD – 2nd Precinct stats for April 10-May 8: 

NIBRS Crime Metrics20232022
   Incl.Domestic Ag.A.53
Burglary, B&E2031
Property Damage6368
Larceny Theft132237
M.V. Theft9262
    Incl. carjacking11
Sex offenses99
Stolen Prop. offenses22
Weapon law viol’s.59
Shots fired calls2024
    N.B. No shot-spotter in the 2nd Pct.0
Gunshot wound vics14

EQ:  I believe the rise in assault reflects the Dinkytown invasion.

The video

Emilie Quast, Member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)


April report: Building safe neighborhoods — Walking Groups

The meeting was called to order at 6:36 PM, 10 attenders.

Speaker: Nicholas Juarez, Asst. Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the U of MN Dept. of Public Safety and former Crime Prevention Specialist with the MPD 2nd Precinct.

Building meaningful connections in your community is a prime strategy for neighborhood crime prevention.   One way to do this is by taking a walk.  Neighborhood walks by small groups of people can do a lot.

In the past neighborhood walks have been associated with block clubs, schedules, t-shirts and more.  It’s often better to keep them simple and fun.


Walking your dog(s)
Getting your steps in
Taking a stroll with your friends on a beautiful day or evening.

In “Concrete jungle”, Clay Martin lays out walking groups as a strategy.   Per Green Beret training: Small groups enter a city or village to make connections and win friends there.

In your neighborhood, some of the people you meet are people you know.   As you’re walking, put a smile on your face, and nod to the people you meet.  This makes connections.    Then you will have neighbors watching out for each other..

What do you look for?  Learn what’s happening in your area:  bike theft? car theft?  property theft?  robbery?   How was this was done: cut a bike lock? test locks on doors, windows? break a window?

When does this happen?

If you spot a suspect: Were they alone? What were  they wearing?  Height, build, skin color, hair style or color?
Body Language:  Were they fidgeting? What is their body posture?
Were they looking  into windows, into backyards, or just at their friends?
Are they cutting through yards or checking doors?
Anxious Behavior —  If you’re able to talk with them, do you see:   Rapid eye glances or constant “nervous” movement?
How do they react to sudden sounds?

How do they react to people? chatting with friends?  trying to avoid contact?

Aggression detection:  Per the American Psychological Assn., 90% of all aggressive incidents are predicted by anger.

Additional Safety Resources*
Call or text 911.  When you report, use words, not emojis.  Be very detailed and descriptive about what you are seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling. Use all of your senses to explain why you are concerned.
Call or text 311.   Use this for road hazards, sidewalk hazards, Lights out,  street hazards, property that has tall grass or weeds, overgrown shrubbery, broken windows or other broken glass.   Is there a street sign or stop sign knocked down?  All of these will be added to a log for repair, even if there isn’t enough staff for an immediate response.

Being a good neighbor: Pick up trash; it increases the livability of your neighborhood.
Remove small graffiti with MFD wipes.  Call 311 if it’s bigger.
Do your neighbors seem to need a hand?  2nd Pct. residents can get help from Eastside Neighborhood Services, free to low cost.

Possibly the most important guideline is:

Be Aware of Your Surroundings.  Know what’s going on around you.

Contact @umnpublicsafety  or sign up for safety bulletins.
QQ: How are students responding to safety guidelines?
Answer:  We had two walks last fall and students are using services like 624-WALK escort service.  BUT,  when some are out, they’re on their phone or listening to something.
EQ: I wish 624-WALK would state how territory is covered.  No-one is stranded by 4-WALK.  Tiny URL:  Also, when someone wants escort from one red line area to another, they’ll be given a ride.
COMMENT:  SE Como Neighborhood has two on-going neighborhood-building  safety events:   Long ago a neighbor on 19th Ave started a Sunday afternoon walk south of Como.   This has continued.
The second asset is a man at 18th Ave & East Henn.  He spends hours cleaning up litter in his area.
COMMENT: This month, people reported someone testing car doors in the Student Co-op lot.   They called 911 but the suspect had left when the squad came by.  The next morning two cars raced out of this parking lot followed by a squad car. That lot is well lit and has security cameras all over.
Nick:  There is more theft from parking lots than from ramps. Lots do not have controlled access.    We’re pushing the club again.  It slows thieves down enough to be a very useful protective item.
Lt. Nelson:   Drones can’t be used for general surveillance.

* [EQ: A printable 3-fold is part of Dept. of Homeland Security  “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. See  tiny url  And from Mpls: ]


NIBRS  CRIME METRICS         2023    2022
Assaults                                         63        67
    Incl. Domestic Ag. Assault           4         5
Burglary, B&E                                 14       26
Property damage, vandalism          77       60
Homicide, non-negligent                   0         0
Homicide, negligent                          0         0
Larceny Theft                                138     196
M.V. Theft                                      174      40
Robbery                                           11      18
     Incl. carjacking                             4        9
Sex offenses                                     4        4
Stolen Prop. offenses                        2       5
Weapon law violations                      4        5
Shots fired calls                               15     36
Gunshot  wound victims                    0       0

We have two new people joining us:
Dillon Gherma is with the University Dept. of Public Safety, as a Community Liaison after four years in Community Engagement for the UCSO.   He is very welcome!

Sandra Filardo has a new role in the HCAO.   We wish her well and thank her for her contributions.

Sarah Haglund will now be the sole HCAO attender.   It’s good we’ll be seeing more of Sarah in the future.
From Sarah:  The HCAO Community Engagement is now under Community Affairs which will also include Restorative Justice, Outreach, and more.   She will share more information as it develops.

Emilie: still looking for reps from across the 2nd Precinct.  Progress:  Waite Park now has a delegate to 2-PAC.

Story from the Star Tribune about trick drivers doing donuts on public streets:

Lt. Nelson: Driving donuts on public streets:  Promoters call people to a site to do their stunts.   Drivers steer so close they can high-five with the crowd.   If they lose control of the car, it will hit people.

The new ruling requires  Law Enforcement to follow the promoters.  Not hard: the events are on social media.

There has to be a balance.   It’s NOT wrong to set up an event; citizens are allowed to congregate. But when you have 16 Dodge Chargers doing laps at an intersection, you are seeing dangerous behavior.  

Inspector McGinty has requested the city return the steel plates that don’t let drivers do donuts.   At a meeting, someone pointed out that the city is peppered with potholes.   No one is going to put their $95K Charger through tricks on a street like  that.

Sarah Haglund (HCAO) explained caselaw.   Courts have to establish precedent, that is, to have more than a few cases that are in line with an attorney’s interpretation of the law in question.   Challenges and interpretations of a law, argued and won in court, are the foundation of future judgments.

QQ: How do public forums, like NextDoor, impact law enforcement?
CPS Ali:  It’s a mixed bag.   Sometimes we get reports from people who have access to City Watch or the 2nd Pct Crime Watch [online groups that monitor police scanners].   Some people exaggerate the reports they get from those sources, but those reports are NOT data.
Haglund: It’s notoriously difficult to get actual data from those groups.  Facebook will just deny your request.   Others insist on a subpoena and proof of need.

Att. Okoronkwo:  It’s a provability issue.  People  will report something based on ideas that can’t be documented.

Video recording of this meeting:

Emilie Quast, Member
MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

March Report: “The Front Door” a gateway to H.C. Social Services, and Cat. Converter, Kia and Hyundai theft — Progress!

The meeting was called to order on March 13 at 6:35 PM, with 12 attenders

Our speaker is Sarah Tjernagel, a Supervisor in Hennepin County Front Door Social Services.   This agency serves as a gateway to the many professional resources that are ours to use if or when we need them.   The Front Door is a first stop for people who are looking for help with or for neighbors, for friends or family members, or for themselves.   It is a first simple step to discovering some of the many free and Medical Assistance funded voluntary services available to those of us who live in Hennepin County.

2-PAC has had many presenters in the past telling us about special social services available for Hennepin residents; in February, we heard from COPE, Behavioral Crisis Response, 1800 Chicago, and the HCAOffice Commitments and Guardianships.    The Front Door is where residents can get help determining which of those agencies might best meet our needs and answer our questions.  Ms Tjernagel pointed out that it’s good to contact them early on, more as a preventative measure, instead of waiting until intervention is necessary.

Officially: The Front Door is the primary intake point for voluntary social services within Hennepin Country’s Health and Human Services Dept.

THE TEAM – The Front Door is a team of 23 Social Workers and Public Health Nurses, and 3 Supervisors  with a wide range of knowledge and experience.

SOCIAL SERVICE REFERRALS:   This is the direct access, self-referral entry.  [EQ: (612) 348-4111 (option 0) and see more below] This is where people call who, “Don’t know what to do about XYZ when ABS happens.]

  • Child Access – Short term service planning for children from birth through age 17 for up to three months.  They can be referred for long-term case management if needed.
  • Adult Access – Short term service planning for adults age 18+ for up to three months.   They can be referred for long-term case management if needed.
  • Department Navigators – Assist residents who need help accessing County systems or community resources.  Focus on housing, health insurance, income and education.
  • Personal Care Attendant (PCA)  – Provides  assistance with personal care such as bathing, dressing, grooming.
  • Long-Term Services & Supports – MNChoices  — assessment  to determine eligibility for waiver or Alternative Care Programs (CADI, BI, EW, and other)  This is a step beyond the PCA program.  It might include assisted living or help with housekeeping or meal preparation, delivered meals or adult day-care; all are covered by the waiver programs.
  • Developmental Disabilities – DD eligibility determination for rule 185 DD Case Management.   It can include day services, work services, or other support services.

SOCIAL SERVICE REFERRALS:  access is by referral from The Front Door or other professional services unless otherwise noted.

  • Hennepin Health – Short term, voluntary social service navigation for Hennepin County PMAP and MinnesotaCare recipients. People can get through their insurance
  • Direct Access (formerly Rule 25) – Refer to Substance Use Disorder  comprehensive assessment providers. Individuals can access this themselves and decide where they want to access treatment.
  • Coordinated Access for Families (CES) –  Refer families and pregnant women experiencing longterm homelessness  for assistance with referrals to housing programs.
  • Emergency Response Line – Operate the ERL when activated by Hennepin County management during a crisis response. (e.g. falling bridges or Covid or measles outbreak)
  • Information & Community Referral – Provide information about various county processes and referrals to community organizations. 

FDSS Statistics

  • Phone calls — Receives over 3000 calls a month.
  • Electronic contacts — Responds to about 600 emails, faxes, or online referrals per month.
  • Referrals – Processes about 940 referrals per month.
  • Referral distribution – In 2021, about 65% of referrals were assigned  to Long Term  Social Services and 27% were assigned to Access [meaning access to mental health services or developmental disabilities services]

The Referral Process

  • Phone intake is provided M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM. 
  • Phone (612) 348-4111 (option 0).
  • Email for general questions is

Electronic referral is coming!  FDSS is working on an online referral option.   This will allow residents to submit a request for referral any day, any hour.  It’s likely to be active before the end of this year. 

The following information will be needed before FDSS can make a referral: 

  • Permission for the referral by the client
  • Name, Date of birth, and PMI
  • Address and phone number
  • Primary language (interpreter need?)
  • Reason prompting the referral
  • Primary diagnosis and health referral
  • Current unmet needs
  • Formal/informal supports
  • What is important to & important for the individual Behavioral Crisis Response
  • Financial information
  • Disability status
  • Guardian contact information (if applicable)
  • Case manager information (if applicable)
  • Primary Care Provider Contact Information
  • BHCM: diagnostic assessment

Additional Hennepin County Resources

General housing or shelter resources:

Emergency Programs

Housing assistance website

Medical Assistance (MA), food assistance (SNAP),cash or emergency assistance

Eligibility Works Supports  at (612)  596-1300



Update from Lt. Nelson: 

We’ve all heard about the incredible increase in theft of Kias and Hyundais.   Last week 32 of the 33 stolen cars were Kias or Hyundais.  This was triggered by a TicToc video posted about 18 months ago showing how easy it was to take a USB like a phone charger, insert it into the ignition on the steering wheel and use that to start the car.  The vehicles that have a real key are the most vulnerable.    Vehicles that have a “PUSH TO START” ignition already have an immobilizer in them.  Those cars are much harder to steal.

Kia and Hyundai software upgrade. 

Hyundai is asking owners to call a dealership and make an appointment to install the fix.   It takes about an hour. 

Kia will be sending out a letter to owners of record, starting with the 2014 Sportages (model).   The letter includes your VIN number (you can see this if you stand on the driver’s side and look down at the front of the dashboard.   It’s also on the door frame.)   Once you have that letter, you can call Kia to make an appointment for the upgrade installation.   You’ll then get a sticker that informs a would-be thief that the car has had the upgrade.   (EQ: They’re going to look for that sticker, right?) 

Until you get the upgrade, parking in a locked garage is the best deterrent.   If you don’t have a garage, Autoparts, Amazon and places still sell the Club, which slows a thief down so maybe they’ll take a pass.

Comment:  this has been 18 months. The companies should have been on it long ago.   Didn’t insurance companies get after them? 

Q: Comment in the online Minneapolis website 3/2/23: 

Comment: The Police Dept used to hand out Clubs.  

Lt. Nelson:  We hand them out to victims.   If someone’s car has already been vandalized because someone has broken a window and was trying to steal it,  we’ll give them a Club; their car can’t be secured with a broken window and is vulnerable. If their car was stolen and we’ve recovered it, we’ll bring them a Club.  The Second Precinct was issued 12 clubs.  It’s not enough for everyone. 

QQ: Have thefts gone down yet?

Nelson: It’s up and down.  There are about a dozen kids who mostly steal in South Minneapolis. One individual who has shown up in the 2nd Pct admitted to stealing 50 (FIFTY) cars.  It is a few people doing most of the crime.  It will be interesting to see when the weather gets warmer if that gives us an uptick in auto theft. 

QQ   What about catalytic converter theft. 

Rashid:  Proposed legislation would make it harder to sell a catalytic converter.   [EQ: Governor Walz signed the bill on March 16, Reported in the 3/17 Star Tribune – Tiny URL:  


NIBRS Crime Metrics 28 days20232022
      Incl. domestic aslt.98
Burglary, B&E1829
Destr. of property8334
Homicide, negligent00
Homicide, non-negl.00
Larceny theft131194
Motor vehicle theft10748
      Incl car jacking31
Sex offenses147
Stolen property offenses23
Weapon law violations53
Shots fired239
Gunshot wound vics.01

Lt. Nelson feels that numbers on Property Destruction and Motor Vehicle Theft are related to Kia and Hyundai theft.   Property Destruction is a “mushy” metric:  if someone steals a Kia by breaking the window to get in, but the vehicle is recovered, that car might be reported for both crimes.    Similarly if someone breaks a window to get into a house and steals the electronics, it’s both Destruction of Property and Burglary.   

QQ: Are all the broken street signs and stop signs are Property Destruction?

Answer: It depends on many things.  People who lose control of the car and knock over a stop sign aren’t likely to hang around until someone reports it.


HCAO : No one has asked them to track a specific case, so no reports.

City AO:  Still catching up the backlog  

Lunds and Byerly’s (on University between Central and East Hennepin) has a theft issue.  Officer Martinez has arrested the suspect.  Atty Okoronkwo added up the complaints

[$350], and the total has reached felony level.  L&B have not supplied requested videos from the cameras.    

The recording of this meeting is posted here:

MPD 2-PAC Feb.’23: People in crisis: Hennepin County can help

Meeting was opened at 6:36  15 attenders.  

HC Attorney Sandra Filardo opened the meeting, introducing the presenters, Kafayat Jumat (Cope), Candace Hanson (Behavioral Crisis Response), Kate Erickson (Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago), and Reid Raymond (HCAO: Commitments and Guardianships).  She also introduced  William Neiman from HCAO, who was sitting in on this presentation to add his perspective.      

What is COPE?  / Kafayat Julmat

Cope: Mobile Crisis Response,is Hennepin County’s Crisis Response service for people who are having a mental health crisis.  

Cope takes calls from anyone and everyone who is concerned about a family member, a friend or neighbor, or themselves.  In contrast with other responding services for people with mental health issues, COPE responders go out to meet with the caller where they are, and do the crisis assessment there.   If a person doesn’t want to meet in person, counselors can support a person over the phone or via a Zoom video — which is telehealth, a development that came up in reaction to the pandemic.  

If a person is not actually in Hennepin County, Cope will connect them with their county crisis response agency.  Call CRISIS (274747) from anywhere in the State of Minnesota to reach the caller’s local county crisis team.  

Clients define the crisis so Cope will go out for a variety of reasons.  Cope services are voluntary; many of the referrals offered will require the client’s willingness to receive and participate in these services and follow through with recommendations.

Cope gets a lot of calls from family and friends, but does try to contact the actual client  (whether that’s a phone call or visiting their home) to explain what  Cope can offer them.  The client has the right to decide whether or not they want to engage. 

If a person is struggling with thoughts about suicide or dealing with psychosis, however, going to a hospital for an inpatient stay may be considered an option if safety is a concern.  COPE responders are Health Officers who have the ability to write transportation holds.  Those holds, if enforced, guarantee that the client will get to a hospital.  The hospital, in turn, may do its own assessment.  If hospital admission seems appropriate, the client will be admitted for at least 72 hours. 

If a client is not willing to go to a hospital, COPE can call for assistance from local law enforcement.  This brings the local law enforcement agency to the scene, including the other agency’s protocols — it’s a judgment call by the counselor if this will be beneficial to the client or not.

COPE also offers “stabilization services” when someone is “safe to remain in the community” but “having continued difficulty managing symptoms” which are not acute enough to suggest hospitalization.  COPE might refer this person to “stabilization service”.   In stabilization, a counselor works with the client for about four weeks, supplying additional support and case management, perhaps trying to get them connected with other long term services.

COPE is connected with the Mental Health Center on Lake Street, which provides access to psychiatric services and can make referrals for long term therapy.  COPE also has two psychiatric nurse practitioners who are with Health Care for the Homeless.

COPE’s  financial team helps clients navigate access to insurance and county benefits like food stamps.  

For more information about COPE, see its home website:


Minneapolis Behavioral Crisis Response  / Candace Hanson

The Minneapolis Behavior Crisis Response is a team of mental health first responders.   The Office is fully integrated in the 911 emergency response system.

The BCR can respond to behavioral health-related calls independent of police, though many of our calls involve providing “backup” to police. We also sometimes request police backup, although this happens less often. Sometimes 911 dispatch will assign a call to both BCR and police to attend together.

We provide crisis intervention and connection to community resources, as well as emotional de-escalation, in situations where there isn’t an explicit threat of danger, or weapons/firearms involved. We are able to transport community members in instances where safety allows and doing so supports the addressing of their behavioral crisis.

We are able to assess for “danger to self/others due to a mental illness or intoxication” and recommend/sign off on transportation holds, but because our service is 100% voluntary, we cannot transport a person on a transport hold, so we must utilize EMS or police for the transportation or execution of the hold we recommend.

This is the team that was first developed as an alternative response to MPD calls. The BCR responds to all calls for service, and often refers clients to other services, including COPE. 

See their website FFI:


Behavioral Health Care Center / Kate Erickson,

Erickson is a Manager at the Hennepin County Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago, in Minneapolis.  The Behavioral Health Center serves adults in Hennepin County, centering needs related to mental health and substance use.  The Behavioral Health Center offers walk-in care, and serves as a stabilization center; first responders bring adults who need assistance to the Center as well.  There is a Walk-in Center on 1st floor, a crisis residence on 2nd floor, withdrawal management on 3rd floor and recovery programs on site.  Other programs on site include SSI/SSDI application assistance, health insurance navigation, Vocational Services Program (VSP), Project Child, and the Diversion and Recovery Team (DART).  The website is up to date and has a description of each of the services:  

Erickson started screen sharing [EQ: which will appear on the YouTube video]  showing the BHC in an aerial view.  This site was chosen because of proximity to shelters, the hospital, community clinics, public safety facility, a major highway, and bus routes 2, and 9, and near the Metro D line.

The purpose of the Behavioral Health Center is to be a specialty center, serving Hennepin adults 18+ who are living with a mental health condition and/or a substance use disorder. It is a “blended environment”, meaning that some of the people that work there are Hennepin County employees (operated teams) and some of the services are contracted with community-based organizations (contracted teams). 

The overarching goals of the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago are to:

  • Reduce unnecessary emergency room use or inpatient hospitalization,
  • Reduce unnecessary criminal justice involvement, and
  • Increase access and connection to community health supports.

Withdrawal management (3rd floor) a contracted service with the AICDC (American Indian Community Development Corporation).  This is a 60-bed facility that provides detoxification  and withdrawal management from alcohol and/or drugs.   It assists clients in connecting with substance use disorder services and supports.  It is always open, walk-up or pre-register.

Crisis residence (2nd floor) a contracted services with Re-Entry House Crisis Stabilization Services (REH).  This 16 bed facility provides mental health crisis stabilization services for 3-10 days.   It assists clients in connecting with mental health  services and supports.  This service is always open; a phone screening is conducted over the phone with potential residents to ensure the mental health crisis residence is the appropriate level of care. 

Walk-in center (1st floor) is operated by the Hennepin County Behavioral Health.    It has 12 assessment rooms and 2 treatment rooms where team members focus on mental and chemical health needs for any adults in Hennepin County.  We work with residents to address their immediate needs, and work with residents up to 60 days until they are connected to longer term services and supports.  Residents can walk-in on their own, or family members or friends can accompany them.  No need to call ahead.  No appointment needed.  Wait times vary throughout the day; ask during check-in for an approximate wait time.  Open M-F 9am-9pm except holidays.

Important:  First responders like Cope, Minneapolis BCR, Law Enforcement, and DID Social Workers use the drop-off function at the Center; when first responders bring an adult into the Center for services, we will have the first responder in and out within 2 minutes so that they can respond to other calls for service.  There is more information about the drop-off function for first responders on our website:

To summarize:  The Behavioral Health Center offers walk-in services focused on adults who need help for mental and chemical health.  The interdisciplinary team serves Hennepin County residents 18 and over.  The team addresses immediate needs on site and makes connections to longer term treatment and recovery supports.  The BHC provides triage, assessment, and connection to resources.  It makes referrals for mental health, substance use disorder, social services, basic needs, community resources, and social determinants of health. Staff at the Center include office support, case management assistants, social workers and senior social workers, peer recovery support specialists, the medical team and on-site supervisors. 

At this point, Erickson’s power point gave a tour of the building, starting with the entry on Chicago Avenue. [EQ The power point will display in the YouTube video].  The team recently attended roll calls within the Minneapolis Police Department, to ensure Officers are aware of the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago as an option for connection to voluntary social services.   

Where does the Behavioral Health Center fit into a continuum of care? 

All services are voluntary and non-coercive in nature.  It is appropriate for adults, who have needs related to mental health or substance use, but it is a not a hospital-level need and it is a not a public-safety issue.  The Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago is an alternative to the hospital and jail, when appropriate.  If you don’t know where to start, the Walk-in Center is available Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, except holidays. More information available on the website:

IMPACT in 2021 

Of those who participated in services within the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago, participants experienced a:

  • 16% reduction in Emergency Department visits
  • 21% reduction in  inpatient hospitalization
  • 11% reduction in bookings   

These data are based on 359 participants, where pre and post data was available.  This analysis includes a 6-month look back and a 6-month look forward.  Data is gathered from a variety of sources including claims, behavioral health codes, and the Sheriff’s Office.  This is a non-experimental design, meaning that change can be from a variety of factors.  This analysis is conducted each year, for residents served in the previous year.


The Walk-in Center team at 1800 Chicago facilitated 3,322 connections to services and supports in 2022.

The Walk-in Center team at 1800 Chicago facilitated connections to services and supports for a variety of topics, including but not limited to:

  • 816 connections to mental health services and support
  • 477 connections to public assistance
  • 437 connections to housing supports
  • 408 connections to substance use services and supports
  • 399 connections to basic needs and supportive services
  • 345 connections to physical health services.


In 2020 the BHC launched a pilot program after completing renovation of the building

In 2021 the BHC started with a volume of 100 visits /month and closed the year with 250 visits a month, open M-F, 9-5

In 2022 the BHC started with a volume of 400 visits/month and closed the year at 600 visits a month, open M-F, 9-9

In 2023 the BHC is serving 700/visits a month in the Walk-in Center, up to 16 beds a night in the mental health crisis residence, and up to 60 beds a night in withdrawal management.  Other services are available on site as well.  Check the website for the most current hours and services:

Civil Commitment / Reid RaymondAtty. Raymond is an Assistant County Attorney in the Adult Services Division.  He is here to explain Commitments,
Guardianships and Community Commitments.  What is a commitment?   A commitment is a court order  for treatment. 

When a court finds that a person is mentally ill or developmentally disabled, and that harm has occurred and that commitment is necessary for the person to receive the treatment they need, the commitment will be ordered.    The court does not specify what treatment is needed, but leaves those decisions up to the treatment facility.  The facility is almost always a hospital, and likely one of our community hospitals, like Abbott-Northwestern, HCMC, Fairview, North Memorial.  A medical professional at these hospitals is most often the petitioner who says it’s necessary to have a commitment. 

At this point, a petition is filed and the County Attorney’s office handles the petition in court. 

A guardianship is created for a person who  has been found incompetent, who can’t make decisions about the major portions of their life.   If the court finds a person has this deficit, the court will issue an order to appoint a person to make these decisions for a person.   Sometimes a person may be subject to both a commitment order and a guardianship.   The hope is that if a guardian has already been appointed, there will be no need for a commitment as well.

Other tools available are “Community Commitments” and “Family Commitments”. 

The HCAO handles about 1500 commitments per year.  Very few of those are NOT initiated by hospitals.  Sometimes, however,  a citizen will report a person who is mentally ill or chemically dependent and needs treatment, but that  person is not getting treatment .  No petition has been filed by the hospital.  The HCAO will take a look at this.  

THe HCAO wants people to use the services that are already available if appropriate. 

For example, it’s much better if a person (who needs services) has already been referred to COPE,  or if the person has gone to 1800 Chicago.  Reports from those places will have some level of information about this person that the Attorney’s Office can use to shape appropriate recommendations for future services. 

Sometimes a family will start the process, getting the person to contact COPE or 1800 Chicago.  One example the attorneys point to was a person who was living in the basement and refused to leave.   Because the person was not suicidal, the hospital wouldn’t admit them and didn’t initiate a referral, even though that person was very ill.   That is a case where the HCAO can initiate a petition — there is an established process for that. 

Atty. Filardo reported that  2nd Precinct CPS Ali helped a 2nd Precinct neighbor get the help they needed using the Civil Commitment process.   The case worked out very well. 

H.C. Atty. W. Nieman added that the office is presenting this information because they want to reach out to underserved communities.   Too many people are unaware of the many life-saving and health-saving free and voluntary services which are available to them in Hennepin County.  Also, if the voluntary services fail, concerned family members may have a legal option. 

There are disparities in the legal system.  They are not as glaring as those in the criminal law system, but the disparities are there.  The HCAO believes the disparities are not due to racism or bias, but only due to lack of knowledge about resources. The whole point of Atty Raymond’s presentation is to let people know there are resources, they are voluntary and they are free. 

They hope people will make use of these resources so that the HCAO doesn’t have to use community commitments.CPS Ali asked what happens when the beds are all full and there’s no more space.
Kafayat Julmat:  Every day “happens.”   We plan but “things happen.”    For the most part, every request we get will be attended to,  that day.  The goal is to get out to that call site within the hour.  If that can’t happen, COPE will try to set up a different way to respond, as over the phone (telehealth), or another means.
Kate Erickson:  The BHC response is similar.  We coordinate among teams and do the best we can.  We’re fortunate that in the Walk-In center, we don’t have a limit.  (That may change.)   When someone walks in, we give them an estimate of how long it will be until they can see a counselor and if that will work for them.   Drop offs are handled slightly differently because those clients are often in a more complex state.   They will be put in a room first.  Then we see people in the order they arrived in the lobby.  It may take an hour to get to a walk-in client.   (They receive repeated updates, through that hour — they need to know they have not been forgotten in the lobby.) 

For the other services at 1800 Chicago, there’s a limit.  They have X number of beds; when they’re full, they’re full.   Then we work with clients about other places where they can get help which may be a different detox or withdrawal management site. 

QQ: You only serve people over 18.   What happens when a juvenile shows up at your door.Erickson:  We will find a place that will serve them, or that we can refer them to.  COPE, for instance, does serve juveniles.  The same happens when someone who does not live in Hennepin County shows up: we refer them to their county services.   In either case we can not initiate services. 
QQ:  How many of the people you serve are repeats?Erickson: Good Question!   We do serve people up to 60 days.   The majority of the people we serve are unique residents.  Some people might make 2, 3 visits, some may stay the 60 days if their case is more complex or we’re waiting to get connected to a longer term service.  Even so, the majority are unique visits. 


28 day report: crime incidents in the 2nd Precinct

NIBRS Crime Metrics 28 days20232022
      Incl. domestic aslt.79
Burglary, B&E2722
Destr. of property6156
Homicide, negligent00
Homicide, non-negl.00
Larceny theft124220
Motor vehicle theft8965
Robbery 423
      Incl car jacking18
Sex offenses29
Stolen property offenses11
Weapon law violations01
Shots fired1213
Gunshot wound vics.02

Court reports

 H.C. Atty Filardo: no updates.

City Attorney Nnamdi Okoronkwo:  finishing up on the cases stemming from the Nicollet Island protest two years ago.   They’ve tried using a “global” approach and our attorneys have “prevailed”,  but, “There’s a certain group of people that are not going to admit to anything.  They have a right to their day in court.”    A person who has been convicted has the right to appeal the decision.   

Before closing, CPS Rashid Ali applauded the good work Cope, 1800 Chicago, the BCR and the HCAO are doing for t;he community.   He’d like to arrange presentations out in the community.   How can this happen?   Atty. Neiman stated “We come as a group.”  Atty Filardo offered to be the contact and arranger. 

Youtube recording of this meeting:

Emilie Quast, 2-PAC member

1911 Central Ave NE

Minneapolis, MN 55418

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:

REACT was covered in FOX-9 report here:

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.


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. []

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:   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. 


Crime Dashboard report for previous 28 days from Jan 9

     Incl.Domestic Agg. 714
Vandalism prop.destruction4239
Homicide, non-negligent00
Homicide, negligent00
Larceny theft141170
     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.  [] 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:]

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.


**  ;  ; ;

*** History of the Coalition: ; the Coalition’s home page:

Youtube video of the Zoom meeting

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


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      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:    or see MN Court Rules, sentencing guidelines

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

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 []  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

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. 

*  and   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  where he told the complete story of what, why and how this program began.

   *** Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED)


EQ: the complex history of permitted and unpermitted camps for homeless people in Minneapolis is traced in a Wikipedia article here:  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

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.  


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  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:  ]

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 ]   This has been used by organizations like the MN Freedom Fund.   [See  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:

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  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    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    — 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

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:

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
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.

* (Click on the Allina Health Foundation Initiatives)


*** also



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:]   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   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   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  The report includes the “Text for Safety” link, and instructions on using it:  — 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.  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:    See the story on page 18. 

View the meeting on Youtube:

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

Minneapolis MN 55418