Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

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

Assault                         61       68    DOWN

     Incl. Dom.Aslt.          5      16     WAY DOWN

Burgl (Incl. B&E)          25      30     DOWN

Vandalism                    59      43     UP

Homicide                       0        1      DOWN

Larceny/Theft             188    139     WAY UP

M.V. Theft                     40      33     UP

Robbery                        15     16     DOWN

     Incl C.Jacking            7       7     —-

Sex Offenses                  3       8    DOWN

Stolen Property               6      4    UP

Weapons Law Violations 4      5   DOWN

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

Gunshot wound victims    0       2  DOWN

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

                                                                 reported by many people.

Hennepin County arrests and warrants for March:

   Officers made 69 arrests.

    60 felonies were charged.   

    60% of those new felonies were by people on probation 

Questions about events and issues:

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

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

Lt. Nelson responded: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crime in the 2nd Precinct  

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

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

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

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

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

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURTWATCH

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find the YouTube recording of this meeting here: 

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD 2nd Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

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

.  

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video CSI: Minneapolis.

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

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

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

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

What the Behavioral Health Center is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So  — How well does this work?   

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

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

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

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

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUESTIONS:

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

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

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

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

QQ Do you work out in the community?  

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

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

QQ Is there a lot of turnover in staff. 

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

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

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

QQ:  How do you get the word out?

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

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

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

Attachments area

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

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

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

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

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

What the Behavioral Health Center is:

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

Taking it floor by floor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So  — How well does this work?   

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

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

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

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

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUESTIONS:

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

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

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

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

QQ Do you work out in the community?  

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

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

QQ Is there a lot of turnover in staff. 

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

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

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

QQ:  How do you get the word out?

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

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

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

March Report, Part 2

2 QUICK ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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

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

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

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

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

Assault – 73  (includes 8 domestic)

Burglary – 29

Vandalism 31  –  DOWN

Homicide  0

Larceny/Theft 45 – SAME

Robbery 8 – SAME (includes 1 car jacking)

Stolen Property 3 – DOWN

Weapon Law Violations 4

Total:       193 incidents

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

Gunshots events 1

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

————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QQ: So Canopy can call 911 for backup?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continued on Feb. report, Part 2

Emilie Quast, Board member

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan. Report, Part 1

The meeting was called to order at 6:30, January 10, 13 attenders. 

Our speaker is an old friend, Nick Juarez.   Nick is the former Crime Prevention Specialist at the Second Precinct.   This year, he moved to the U of MN Police Department, Community Engagement Team, and is serving as Community Liaison.    I asked him to explain what we can do to avoid becoming a statistic in the street crimes or car-jacking columns.  

Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Know
Who is Watching
YOU
When we talk about personal safety and having a plan, what are we talking about?  Most important, know that the criminal HAS a plan.   Nick pointed to a resource, “Ultimate Crime Prevention — Predicting Crime with Efficiency”, by Byran Keyleader.

You need to know that street crime is not spontaneous and you can avoid becoming a victim.  Know that the criminal has a plan and he’s practiced it.   He is actively: 

  • LOOKING:   He’s checking out the area
  • IDENTIFYING the target – This is where we need to be proactive and reduce the element of surprise, by
    • Being aware of your surroundings,
    • Knowing the threats,
    • Taking away the element of surprise,
    • Have a strategy –YOUR PLAN — to avoid the suspect.
  • STALKING: Moving closer to his target and checking out the area to make sure he can easily get away.
  • CLOSING IN on the target (the attack is based on the element of surprise; you may have only seconds to respond)
  • ATTACKING the target: YOU are now in REACTIVE mode.

You have to CREATE A PLAN before any of this happens.

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS is the basis of your plan.   This will change from situation to situation.  The goal of situational awareness is to equip you with the information and the tools you need to protect yourself, your family, your property from harm.  Situational awareness is:

  • Knowing
  • Noticing
  • Responding

Trust your instincts and make choices based on ALL available information.

How do we create this plan? Most incidents are easily avoided with:

  • The right ATTITUDE:
    • Accept that crime is possible.
    • Resist rationalization.  (“It’ll never happen here.”   “I’ll only be a minute.”)
  • AWARENESS:
    • “If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will  suffer a defeat.  If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will succumb in every battle.   — Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
  • KNOWLEDGE of THREATS
  • KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS (Self and property)

AVOIDANCE – This is the best tool you can use.

  • “The wise warrior avoids the war”  –Sun Tzu, The Art of War. 
  • Do not put yourself in situations that will harm you.

KNOWING:  These are the tools you have to defend yourself. 

 Know the current crime trends.   What are the types of crimes?  Is there suspect information?    What are the suspects doing or how are they committing the crimes?  Are there videos or pictures of the suspects?   The Ring doorbell system is providing a lot of pictures of what people look like, car tags, patterns of behavior.  What are the policies for sharing those pictures?

Knowing the crime trends is very important so that when you see something you will know how to protect yourself and your property.  “What can I do so my packages don’t get stolen?”  “…so no one breaks into my car?”  “… into my neighbor’s car?”    By knowing and sharing information, you will be able to make a plan to take away the opportunity for the crook  to steal packages, or break into a car.  

Wherever you live there are sources of reliable information, including:

 There is an advantage to knowing your neighbors.  Resource:  Clay Martin, “The concrete jungle, a green beret’s guide to urban survival” 

You have more eyes on the street, looking for the same thing.You have power in numbers, working together on the same goals.You are watching out for each other. 
Share information with each other, by whatever means you agree on: a Facebook page, block club parties, email, a text group, door knocking … 

The point here is to get to know the people who live on your block.  What are their jobs, hobbies, who are they?  This isn’t “spying”, it’s getting to know the people you live with.

 Know YOUR strengths and your weaknesses.

  • What are your personal strengths and  weaknesses? (strong/weak body language or voice; knowledge of potential threats (that IS a strength for you); awareness of surroundings) 
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your home or workplace? (strong locks on doors and windows? Security systems?  Good/poor lighting?)
  • How can we build on your strengths to mask/defend/ protect your weaknesses?
  • Personal Safety Workshops?
  • Personal Safety Devices?  If this is for you, practice using it until that’s your automatic response.   Whatever you choose, you must know how to use it and where to keep it just a touch away.  (which will never be at the bottom of a purse or bag).

Pepper spray
Noisemaker (130-140+  Decibels)

Stun gun

Handgun (permit to carry)

Know how you handle DISTRACTIONS  — anything that prevents you from being aware. 

They can be
Natural — nature, worries, planning, ideas.

Artificial — phones, music, conversation, putting your groceries or your child in your car. (Do put the phone away)

We notice all these things already, but the point is to relate them to what we’re learning about.

RESPONDING:  How do you deal with situations?  Everyone’s plan will be different because everyone reacts differently.   You must plan your reaction based on how YOU  know you are likely to react. 

  • Know how YOU handle fear.  Know how YOU act under stress.
  • Assess: can you still avoid?
  • Verbal judo:   de-escalate a situation.
  • You do not have to be “Minnesota NICE”
  • Body language –  be assertive.
  • Call 911
  • Personal safety device (practice, practice, practice)
  • Physical defense. Classes in self-defense or Personal Safety.
  • Role play — practice how to deal with people.  Practice at home and at work. 

RESPONDING:

  • Robbery of Person:
    • Stay calm and implement your plan.
    • Know your strengths and weaknesses — most of these incidents are over in 2 minutes or less.
    • Do not put yourself in harm’s way.
    • Comply with what the robber is asking for.
    • Gather as much information as you can about the robber and the incident.
    • Call 911 as soon as possible.
  • Civil Unrest:
    • Stay calm.
    • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • Get to a safe place and call 911.
    • Keep yourself safe.
  • Carjacking:
    • Be aware of your surroundings, 50-60 feet around you in every direction.   Assume someone is watching you as you leave your home, workplace, grocery store.  
    • Recent patterns have  had a car pull up next to the victim and suspects jump out OR  the suspects  — usually 2 or more — are on foot  close to and following the victim to the car.
    • When you are stopped in traffic, make sure your windows are at least 3/4 of the way up AND your doors are locked.  Leave enough space ahead of you in case you need to get out of there.
    • Do not put yourself in harm’s way.
    • Know your strengths and weaknesses.  Know how you will respond to this stress.

DE-ECALATE DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR. Your goal is always to keep yourself and others safe. 

  • Keep a safe distance.  (“A leg length.”)
  • Act with composure, reason and responsibility. 
    • Keep your ego in check.
    • Control your body language:    How are you standing?   What does your face look like? (hint: your smile may look like a smirk to them)
  • Shift to a proactive not a reactive state.   Know all your options  to resolve the incident before you engage (to negotiate)
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Listen!
  • Give them your undivided attention–maintain eye contact.
  • Avoid over-reacting — this can be really hard, because the aggressor is TRYING to get a reaction out of you so you WILL make a mistake.  
    •  Stress hormones are elevated in ALL individuals during this incident. 

AFTER AN EVENT:

File a police report with the law enforcement agency  where the incident took place.

Practice some self care.

Talk to someone about the incident.

QUESTIONS:

QQ Self care.   Do you mean COPE?  
AA  Yes, but depending on where you are there are other options that might be available.   Employers are often a good source of professional help.  There are programs you can use through your insurance company, also.  Cornerstone report:  https://courtwatch2pac.com/?s=Cornerstone

QQ: How do I estimate a 60 foot perimeter?  
AA: Three or four car lengths if they are full size vehicles.   Two city lots in many parts of SE and NE Minneapolis are 45-55 feet wide.   In Minneapolis, a  residential street (2 traffic lanes and 2 parking lanes)  is 55 feet wide.   Here are a few more typical street widths: https://sdg.minneapolismn.gov/street-types/urban-neighborhood  

AA: Also, if you are in a large parking lot, take notice of people in cars:   are they slowing and watching you?  are they  turning to come back toward you?  If you are watching them and they see it, you’ve taken away their “surprise” and they want that surprise.


QQ: What is being done to reduce the number of perpetrators?  So many of these crimes seem to be committed by young people!

AA: 2-PAC and Courtwatch have let people know that our justice system is a big system.   Police have a role, but it’s not the only role.   Suburban mayors have met with the County Attorney to ask questions like this.   A lot of the crimes in and around the city are committed by a small population of people who keep committing crimes until they’re caught. 


View the entire meeting on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/XhWt0Fulf40


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

e-quas@tc.umn.edu

January Report, Part 2

SECOND PRECINCT NEWS

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

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:   CPS Ali reporting.

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

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

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

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

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

12/24 BUFFET NEWS  Emilie Quast reporting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURTWATCH

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

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

Dec. Report, part 1

Sgt. John Sheneman spoke to us in 2015  about his work on his SWAT team, which was assigned to the Second Precinct.   He next went to the 4th Precinct, where he was a patrol Sergeant on Middle Watch and then the Dogwatch (overnight) shift.  When  he decided it was time for a change of assignments, Asst. Chief Mike Jones called to tell him he’d been assigned to the K-9 team.    This was a good fit for the K-9 Team

For background, the K-9 team was established in 1971.   It’s gone through some changes through the years, so the info we heard  several years ago is not entirely valid any more.   The kennels are still near the river.   That’s the place they do their training, including training for certification.   They do have some kennel space there; if someone needs to leave their dog for a while the other officers will take care of it. 

The unit now includes two Sergeants and 10 officers.   They have 12 dogs right now.     Only two of the dogs are trained in narcotics detection; the other ten are bomb detection dogs.  Additionally, all of the dogs are Patrol  Dog Certified meaning they have passed certification testing offered by the United States Police Canine Association.    The Narcotics and Bomb Detection certification is through the same association.   We have a lot more bomb detection dogs because Minneapolis has many events that require the use of bomb dogs.  If you ever go to Vikings games or other sports events, you’ll see the MPD K-9s there.   They start doing sweeps many hours before the event, and remain on site through the event and clear the building.  You may remember a couple years ago, we had the Final Four in Mpls, which required many dogs to do the sweeps.  The Sgts who lead the team want to add one more narcotics detection dog this year, which will bump us MPD K-9s up to three with that certification. 

Our dogs come from all over, including from the U.S., from Eastern Europe, Western Europe.   We look for dogs that are appropriate for our work.   They are expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $12,500 for a completely untrained dog.   The team works with vendors they know can provide dogs that can be successful at this work. 

Once the dogs get here, they spend about a week in the kennel, are taken to the U of MN Veterinary Services for additional x-rays and other evaluation to make sure they are sound.   The dog is then assigned to a handler who takes the dog home.   The dog lives with his handler, travels with his handler back and forth, all of which starts the bonding.   The relationship between the dog and handler is a very strong bond.  Once the dog is with the handler, they complete a 12-week course together.  This is required for new and for experienced handlers with new dogs.  Sometimes you’re training both the dog and the handler.   

The dog will learn to trace/track by scent.   People are leaving scent wherever they go, shedding DNA, skin cells, etc.   The dogs can detect that scent even if it’s very faint.   You want to be able to give them a scent, take them to an area and tell them to find — whoever is leaving the scent.   The dogs will start to scan the area  until they lock on the scent; then they follow it.  One of the difficulties for a new handler is to learn to “read” his dog’s signals, to know what the dog is signaling.  It takes a lot of practice — he’s been with his dog since 2018 and still makes mistakes. 

Another necessary skill is the  “article search”.   This happens when the K-9 team is called to a crime scene.  Perhaps Officers believe a suspect has thrown a gun or other article, but they can’t find it.   The dogs are trained to search an area near the crime scene and search for an article that has the suspect’s scent.  The dogs tend to make a methodical search, sweeping the area by going back and forth.   Many dogs prefer their own pattern, but they do use one.

The most challenging part of operations for Sgt. Sheneman is apprehending a suspect.   He was 48 years old when he went to an apprehension class for the first time.  It’s the part the public wants to see, so you go through an exercise with a decoy in a protective suit, but it’s the least challenging part of the job.  We don’t train our dogs to fail [EQ: I took this to mean use unnecessary aggression.] We try to turn everything into a game, so if a dog finds the target item on an article search or a person search, the dog is rewarded by getting to play with a toy.   One game technique is to let the decoy (person in the “bite sleeve”) start to play with the dog using the sleeve.  If the decoy then takes off, wearing the sleeve (now a toy in the dog’s mind), the dog is naturally going to run after him to start playing.  MPD K-9s are taught to apprehend, meaning  stop the target person with an appropriate bite, AND to release on verbal command.   MPD K-9s are never allowed to be mean or to use unnecessary force.  [More detail in 3rd paragraph down.]

We spend time doing building (inside)  and area searches (outside).   His dog is a bomb dog.   When the dog finds  an odor he’s been taught to find, he sits. One of the detection training tools is called “pop-up boxes”   [EQ: a Google search (dog training   “scent detection”) yielded over 78,000 responses]     When the dog sits in front of the correct box, a remote “pops-up” a reward for the dog giving him a strong incentive to succeed.  

The class typically lasts 12 weeks (some last longer).   His class lasted 22 weeks because of a break in the middle of training.   Both people and animals go home sore and tired. 

To graduate from the class, the team must pass a certain number of tests.    They include an “out” — on an apprehension you must be able to verbally make your dog let go.  You must have a recall —  you send your dog after a decoy who is running away, and you verbally call them back from the chase.  Locating an object — the dog must locate an article in an “article pad”, a place where they let the grass grow all year. 

Detector certification is pretty similar.   The dog must locate a “hide”, that is, find an object that is in a vehicle, or in a bag, or concealed in a room.  It might be multiple bags or multiple rooms or multiple vehicles. 

Once a team graduates, they work city-wide.   They are not assigned to  a precinct.  They are a support unit called to support officers or investigators.   They are called to locate persons or  evidence.  They are called to help clear buildings after events or burglaries.   They get called to work in bomb detection, partnering with the bomb squads.   When they are not called for a specific task, they go out in squad cars and uniforms  to help patrol the city.   

After the  team (human and dog) has “graduated” the training goes on.   Sgt. Sheneman said that training never stops.    If you stop practicing, the human would not be good at a skill or procedure any more, but that is only true of the person.   The dog might shut down out of boredom.   This was hard for the Sgt. to work around, because his way of learning a skill is to practice until he is good.   This doesn’t work with the dog.   The teams are required to train 16 hours a month, with others.   The training sessions are good because the human on the team can get another trainer’s perspective. 

One of the challenges is to learn when you want to use your dog and when you shouldn’t.  When you are out with your dog, you must constantly assess if you’re in a good place to have your dog.   Doing a track at night, you won’t run into as many people which is good.   Doing a track in the afternoon, you may find there is too much going on.  He was once asked to track a person through a neighborhood, but when he showed up, the place looked like they were having a block party, with lots of people, unleashed dogs and more.   He refused.  Too many things could go wrong in a crowded situation.  Usually you can go around a situation.   The block party was not so.
Sgt. Sheneman related that when he started working with the dog, he was perhaps a little too cautious because too much was new.   Now, as new K-9 handlers join the team “they” go out on calls and help the new officers assess new situations, to learn when and how it’s appropriate to use their dogs.


Question:   What is an “appropriate” dog for your unit?
Answer: An appropriate dog has drive, not aggression. He has the desire to work.  We want the dog that goes when we need to go.
Question: Do you ever cross-train?   [example of a dog who had different expectations from two different people and refused to respond when both of them were present]
Answer:   We might run into that with our dogs, except we vary verbal control/leash control together.  Ultimately, when we renew certification every year with the US PCA,  it’s off lead.  You have to pass verbal commands off-lead.  You are limited to only a certain number of commands.  Because the dog knows those commands, but only from me, he would not respond to another person using the same commands.    We do use the lead in training to enforce the command we just gave.   As we train, we go to lighter and lighter leads, until we get to a “cat lead”  which is a thin line the dog can’t feel.   Then we’re ready to practice verbal control only.   

When I go on actual patrol, I go back to using the lead to reinforce, “This is what we’re doing now.”
Complete recording of the Dec 13 meeting:  https://youtu.be/N-rzRWB5TEc

Emilie Quast, board memberMPD 2nd Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)e-quas@umn.edu

Attachments areaPreview YouTube video MPD 2-PAC: MPD K-9 Teams

Dec. report, Part 2

State of the Precinct
Inspector Loining sent the following chart and some good graphics, depicting YTD crime in the 2nd Precinct.   image.png

Referring to the chart “2nd Precinct reported Violent Crime 1/1 – 12/6”  the Inspector reported he met in early December with Surkyk’s  owners and separately with Jeff Meehan (2-PAC  board member).  The crime trends in the Second Precinct are in line with  the trends across Minneapolis, the MSP metro area, and every major city across the country. 

In the 2nd Precinct, we normally see 2 to 4 homicides, and this year we’ve had 3.  
Reported sexual assaults have gone down for the last two years,  so that’s good news. 
Robberies, including car-jackings are up.   In 2020, we had 163 reported robberies.  2021 saw an increase of 47% — 241 reported robberies [as of 12/13]. Back in 2019, we had 98 reports. 
Aggravated assaults (assault with a weapon.  It can also be an assault that causes substantial body harm as a broken nose in a fight — these are felonies) 
In 2019, 6 people were shot in the 2nd Pct. but in 2021 the number was 37. 

We’ve heard people blaming the rise in crime on the loss of officers.  It is true, we’ve lost about 30% of staff.  

Inspector Loining doesn’t feel this has led to an increase in crime.  Certain elements in the criminal groups are becoming more bold and more violent.  They, like the rest of us, hear that police staffing is down.  What is also true is that the consequences of crime have been watered down.   The Hennepin County and City Attorneys’ Offices do a good job of prosecuting cases.    We’ve had instances in which suspects are apprehended, put in jail, and then released.   Then they go out and commit more crime. 

The Inspector related a story shared at a meeting of precinct inspectors.   Officers had apprehended people suspected of a robbery and put them in the back of a squad car.   The squad video captured the people, who were juveniles, laughing in the back of the squad and singing.  It is very concerning that these juveniles were not apprehensive about their situation.  

So, what do we do about this?  We ARE maintaining the number of officers out on patrol every day.   We do this by requesting assistance from other precincts, we post overtime shifts.  We have a quorum of officers we must have out there every day to effectively and efficiently answer [prioritized] calls for service.  We work to meet that.   [EQ:  I can testify to that.  I wanted to drop something off mid afternoon at the precinct and it was lights out, door locked, notice on the door instructed me to call 911/311 for assistance.  I later met the day watch Sgt who told me the reason:  that officer who would have been at the front desk was needed in a squad car.] 

It is true that we’ve lost officers to medical and other issues, but the officers who are out there working, are there because they care.  They took an oath to serve and to protect, and they are upholding that oath.   

The Police Academy just graduated a new class and the 2nd Precinct got 4 of those officers on their roster.   They started on December 5.   Acting Chief Hoffman announced that 2022 will see four more academies, which points to an increase of 160 officers in the coming year.     Additionally, the MPD is sending out notices to hire experienced officers in other PDs.   If they’ve had training and experience, they can expect a shorter training requirement and they’ll be on the street much earlier than a new recruit would be.    [EQ: Officer Hickey described the shorter training requirement in November when he presented to 2-PAC]

The Inspector and CPS Ali responded to Emilie’s comment that we still need to remind and teach residents to take more responsibility for their own safety.    A comment was made that incoming University students are young  enough to still feel invincible.   Additionally they may be moving in from a suburb or other municipality where it’s normal to leave a car running to warm up, or to leave the house unlocked to run a quick errand.  In the inner city, either of those can trigger a crime of opportunity.
Headline crash info.   The story of the Dec. 8 crash at Lowry and Hayes that killed two people is outlined here:    https://www.hometownsource.com/sun_post/community/police-pursuit-of-stolen-vehicle-ends-in-two-deaths/article_b48f4548-5c70-11ec-96ae-7b764fe2377d.html  The Star Tribune’s photo is terrifying: https://www.startribune.com/teen-killed-in-northeast-minneapolis-crash-while-fleeing-police-idd/600128188/
CPS Ali pointed out that “…Every city has a different policy when it comes to pursuing vehicles.”   Later Inspector Loining clarified, “Robbinsdale PD pursued the vehicle. The fleeing vehicle crashed at Lowry AV NE & Hayes ST.   NO MPD Officers were involved.”    Thank you, Inspector. 

Court watch:
City Atty Nnamdi Okoronkwo had not been in court for a while.   He’d been setting bails for people accused of domestic abuse which is a mandatory arrest.   If the accused is not there when officers arrive, we have people to follow up with the complainant, to see if they need services, and to discuss if there is a need to plan a removal.

He commented that the things his office prosecutes, livability cases, DWIs, burglaries, and so on — the City Attorney’s Office just does not have  the big hammer that you usually have if you can’t hold people for a period of time.   This can add to the problem if people don’t see the consequences immediately, they can continue to act that way.
Probation Officer Holly Ihrke reported ongoing work in Hennepin County.   A lot of effort and resources have been dedicated to sheltering people.   Teams of health care workers and resource workers are going to encampments and trying to provide medical and housing needs.   The Second Precinct has been good at networking with those providers.  Also, the Bench has been good at seeing that warrants based on livability crimes can be an impediment toward getting into  a stable setting.  

There used to be a Specialty Court that focused on this issue, but that was shut down.      In response, P.O. Ihrke, Atty Filardo (HCAO) and Mary Ellen Heng in the City Attorney’s Office, the Bloomington City Attorneys, and the Public Defenders Office came up with a Housing Readiness Bench Warrant Resolution process.   If people are actively seeking housing services, and are working with a case manager, but they have outstanding warrants or cases that are preventing them from getting permanent shelter, a process has been created to actually resolve these cases.  Landlords don’t want to rent to someone with pending cases.   The City and County Attorneys offices and public defenders negotiated an agreement on which cases they’re willing to address.     This process was created for two reasons:  1) to fill the gap that the former Homes Court addressed, and 2) to prevent a lot of livability crimes being charged that would not happen if people had a place to go to. 

That is a bright light:  city and county attorneys are coming across and agreeing with public defenders on a program to assist unsheltered and attorneys and defenders agreeing that the point of entry can be the Public Defenders Office.   [that is a great start!–EQ]
Charges:  12 felonies were charged last month in the Second Precinct: 2 assaults, 1 burglary, 2 drug charges, 1 kidnapping, 1 property damage,  3 robberies, 1 theft.
Atty Okoronkwo commented that his office has NOT been told to not charge some of these offenses, but there is awareness that for some individuals, a charge may be a very high barrier to a person’s being able regain stability and so a charge can contribute to a person’s homelessness.

P.O. Ihrke again commented that the Second Precinct is very good at meeting people at their level, triaging, working with the workers.
Atty Okoronkwo added that he works with a lot of public defenders and believes they have a strong sense of what we are discussing here.  They want to find resolution for their clients.