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Jan. 2021 meeting report, part 1: Criminal Justice Behavioral Institute

Leah Kaiser  holds an advanced degree in forensic psychology.   She worked on the East Coast for several years and then in Hennepin County  Juvenile Corrections, chiefly with the Juvenile County Home School.  Six years ago she moved to Hennepin County Health and Human Services.  Currently she oversees the mental health system and people living with addictions, including both operative services  (teams that deliver )  and the larger network. 

There is an intersection between mental health/or behavioral health and criminal justice which mental health and law enforcement officials are beginning to align.

Background of the current program:  

5 years ago, partners in public safety and human services began looking at the people cycling through the courts and the jails who’s mental illness was driving their criminal behaviors.  Despite the many services, interventions  and resources, a small group of people continued to cycle and show poor outcomes.  

Profile of this cohort:  They have a lot of interaction with the police and cycle through the justice system.  They have mental health or addiction issues.  They often have housing instability or are homeless. 

The County Board, along with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, launched the Criminal Justice Behavioral Initiative. 

Ms Kaiser conveined representatives from the agencies, County and City, that deal with this cohort.   People from the MPD,  the HCSO, 911, Public Defender’s Office and more have been meeting for almost 6 years. 

They started with looking at the systems in use elsewhere to evaluate what was and wasn’t working well and found the Sequential Intercept Model.   This model was developed by SAMHSA.  It suggests you divide the interaction by intercepts across the criminal justice system.  The first contact for a person with mental illness is often a police officer (usually), then jail, court, probation, community.   The model shows where, in this process, you want to have a certain kind of response.    The team could look at the Hennepin model in comparison with the national model, and see where  the Hennepin County model could improve.   They found that H.C. had a lot going on at the end of the system (policies, services, data)  but very little at the beginning, the first contact someone has with law enforcement.   

For the last five years, members of the team have been lobbying for  money to support new programs and policies, earlier in the intercept channel. 

The team started with a new kind of training, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT),  which was added to the training program for Police Academy recruits.  The Co-Responder model was developed as an alternative first “intercept” (Kathy Waite was one of the people who worked on that model).   The  program has also  put social workers in H.C. Jail and in the Adult Corrections Facility in Plymouth.  They have developed the forensic ACT which is like a hospital without walls,  which provides a 24-hour service team supporting people with serious mental illness who are also on probation.   The teams help people stay on their meds so their symptoms are managed and they don’t continue to commit offenses.

The team created the Behavioral Health  Center at 1800 Chicago, a facility where people with low level offenses can get help.  People who want help can walk in and get it (ph. 612-540-5700).   If an officer finds a person with a low level offense (open bottle, trespassing, disorderly, etc) she can use 1800 as a drop-off center.   When the officer  brings the person to 1800 Chicago Ave., the criminal system disengages and the social service system takes over.  The Center provides mental and chemical health treatment, financial, food and medical help, housing and transportation programs and employment resources.   While 1800  Chicago is intended to meet the immediate needs of a crisis, the teams have found that unless they understand what went on before the crisis and what a successful outcome will look like, the process is likely to repeat.

Ms. Kaiser reminded us that this body of work is not limited to what happens in the Second Precinct or even Minneapolis.  The strategy covers all of Hennepin County.  

Many of her team have worked on the form of the Co-Responder Program we had (pre-Covid-19) at the Second Precinct.    They are now starting to field 911 calls; some go out with an officer, but others go out on their own.   The intent is to let cops do what cops are trained to do, and to let mental health professionals do their work also.  They found that the presence of an officer,  even in soft uniform, can escalate a situation.  Also along these lines, a system with the Downtown Improvement District is being developed that involves no officers in response, but does leverage mental health professional services.   A lot of these calls involve addiction issues.

One of the programs, Restorative Court, started with the City Attorney’s office and the Judiciary.  When a person first appears in court, providing the person is willing to engage, the City Attorney’s office, Social Services and the Court discuss if Social Services can support them.   If that is in place, the City Attorney can offer a better disposition, but it is hinged on the client’s continuing to work with social services toward an agreed upon outcome.  This has produced encouraging recidivism stats:  of 144 clients who entered Restorative Court, 100 did NOT re-offend (69%),  and 84% were people of color.

Ms Kaiser emphasized that the services and programs she’s described are not the work of any one program or office.   These services have been developed through consultation and collaboration. 

QUESTION:  Is there any talk about changing the response model to 911 calls not involving weapons?  The asker has done ride-alongs with University Police; it seemed like most calls were about trespassing or livability issues.

ANSWER:  This is being discussed.  Hennepin County just passed a resolution stating that a task force will study the system and implement improvements. A year ago, they launched a pilot program with the Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatch — note that the S.O. does dispatch for its own officers and 8 cities (not including Mpls.).   A year ago, Kaiser’s team put a mental health professional into dispatch to start studying what change could look like.   There are various levels of security and privacy issues that affect how a 911 call can be handled. 

There is also a cultural habit to deal with.  Right now, citizens are conditioned to call 911 for emergencies, starting with very young children–that is the default.  Similarly, police officers are the default, and they know this and do know that they’ll be called in for situations that have nothing to do with breaking any law. 

The ultimate goal of the mental health teams is to get people the help they need in the quickest way.   We have to turn the impulse away from “Call 911” every time, to calling the response that will access the most on-point response. There never will be a one-call-fits-all number and it’s reckless to suggest that.   Similarly, it’s reckless to talk about never calling the cops because there are incidents that need trained, armed professionals.  The goal is to get people the help they need so they will stabilize and no longer need to call for help over and over to get their needs met.  We’re living in a time when we need to accelerate our efforts, but at the same time, we need to be careful that we don’t tear down something that is helpful and needed.

QUESTION: What happened to the Co-Responder program that was pulled out of the Precinct at the beginning of the pandemic?

ANSWER: We have a contract with the City of Mpls but are waiting for direction from the City about what model they want — they have several models to explore.  Additionally, the models will be changing as Covid-19 vaccines roll out.   The teams will be looking at if some kinds of service retain effectiveness with remote contact.   If some levels of service seem to require going out into the field, they’ll figure out how to do that and when it’s most needed.   

Right now, the services that were offered through COPE are still in place, but the agency has changed how they’re operated.   [In Hennepin County, Adults 18+ call 612.596.1223 – Children 17 and under 612.348.2233 – Anywhere in the state, call **CRISIS 274747 to reach the nearest County crisis team] 

Ms Kaiser added that it’s important for people to remember that they can reach out for help before things escalate to a crisis.  They can help people navigate the system, look at possible responses and hopefully forestall a crisis entirely.    Hennepin County has a call center that helps people get connected to social services.  Its called the “Front Door” 612-348-4111 and  has social workers waiting to field those calls.

For a parting note, Ms. Kaiser suggested people look at the five year report and send any questions to her. See https://www.hennepin.us/-/media/hennepinus/your-government/projects-initiatives/documents/Criminal_Justice-Behavioral_Health_Initiative_Report_2020.pdf

**EQ:  Wikipedia has an excellent  SIM page:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Sequential_Intercept_Model

Recording of this Zoom meeting has available on Youtube:  https://youtu.be/o-VQ_Lw8RDk

Emilie Quast, board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

Minneapolis MN 55418

e-quas@tc.umn.edu
Attachments areaPreview YouTube video 2PAC Meeting January 2021 “Hennepin County Justice Behavioral Health Initiative”

Jan. 2021 Meeting, part 2: Crime and Courtwatch

Our speaker this month was Leah Kaiser, who leads the Hennepin County Justice Behavioral Health Initiative.    You’ll find a report on her presentation in Part 1 of this report. 

If you have any questions about anything Ms Kaiser discussed or about this part of the report, send them to me e-quas@tc.umn.edu  and I’ll get an answer back to you.

PRECINCT REPORT:   CPS Nicholas Juarez and Rashid Ali bringing updates.
On 12/23 and 12/26, someone fired shots into a house on the 2500 block of SE Como.   On the first report, 5 to 7 shots were fired directly at the door of this duplex. In the second incident, shots were fired at the same residence, at a neighboring residence, and at a vehicle.  There is no public report of the reasons for those shots.  Officers gathered 15 or 20 casings from the scene.   The tenant has asked to be released from the lease. 

On January 1 at 3AM, three people attending a large New Year party were wounded by shots fired.  All are expected to survive.   The victims and their friends refused to cooperate with officers.  The  person doing the damage is a black male, 5’5″ with shoulder length braids.    This is a problem property.   Several days later, officers had to go in for another noisy party complaint, and this was followed by a third noisy party complaint.  The property owner is not responding to requests for information.
Nick reported that auto theft is rising.   Between January 1 and 7, we had 13 auto thefts, 10 of them were cars left idling or with the keys in the car, so very preventable.   Additionally, theft from motor vehicles and theft of catalytic converters drive the numbers in the Second Precinct.   Target cars are Honda CVV, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Cross Trek and Hyundais.  Some of these vehicles can be retrofitted with a converter lock.   See your auto-repair garage for more information.
In the two weeks since we met, the Second Precinct recorded an additional 16 violent crimes and 140 property crimes, 86 of them involving motor vehicles.   Catalytic converter thieves are now moving up Stinson Boulevard, apparently, as well as into SE Como.    Despite all that, the 2nd Precinct remains the precinct reporting the least number of crime incidents in the city.   We need to start hearing those sawz-alls.

   COURTWATCH:  Nnamdi Okoronkwo, City Attorney and Holly Ihrke, P.O.  relayed how the change to Courtwatch is coming along.  (Their meeting, joining reps. from Hennepin County was scheduled for the next day.)   The City Attorney’s office does not support the Chronic Offenders lists any more.   Atty. Okoronkwo has been instructed to assist the Precincts in following some of the more troublesome offenders.     

Atty Okoronkwo had posted updates on three people from the previous list.
Samuel Haasse is now in Vet’s Court, which offers more supervision.   The Attorney believes that the closer supervision drives the personal accountability he sees developing. This is a service that is provided because of the client’s service to the country [building on a point of pride, perhaps].   Haasse has a review hearing later in January.   The hope of the specialty court program is to reduce recidivism. 

Jeffrey Breene is now in Restorative Court, a different specialty court.  He is not picking up more cases, either. 

Joshua Poplawski is another person on this list.   P.O. Ihrke had invited Poplawski’s probation officer to this meeting, but that person didn’t show up.  Atty Okoronkwo had talked to the P.O. and heard they were trying to get Popawski a bed.   The problem is that if he isn’t in jail, he’s not likely to get to his bed, or that they’ve kicked him out due to behavioral issues.   They’re still working for him, based on a belief that he will respond to close supervision.  He was still active in the U of MN area in November and December.   Atty. referred to Leah Kaier’s presentation, suggesting that a police response to this client is not necessarily the best response.   If Poplawski has been frightening people, however, police response may be called for.Atty. Okoronkwo wants to leave Poplawski on the list, as a “gap case”: not mentally ill enough to require civil commitment, but still picking up cases.

Kelli Durow is another gap case, but  has been found incompetent before, which means you can’t move forward with a treatment plan. 

Michael Zaccardi – P.O. Ihrke reported that he is in pre-trial and IS in compliance with probation — he’s doing the best he’s ever done on probation.  His pre-trial is for a felony case; we’ll get a report next month.
Meetings will be held this month with a few stakeholders to decide how to better align Courtwatch with community concerns.
CPS Nick Juarez pointed out that when Courtwatch was organized, one in each precinct, the Second Precinct was notable because the others all had Part 1 crime.   The Second focused on theft and livability crime, because that is what we had here [and we want to return to that status, I think].

Dec. 2020 Meeting, part 2 report: Courtwatch and Neighborhood Updates

COURTWATCH:   Sandra Filardo HC-AO, Nnamdi Okoronkwo Mpls.-AO and Holly Ihrke HC-PO attending.  

We proceeded through our list, noting that not much had changed for a long time.   Most people are either on hold or progressing through the system and awaiting review hearings.  Exceptions:

  • Kelli Durow (aka Tamera Hoveland) – Was found incompetent at her 12/08/2020 hearing and  11 pending cases were closed/dismissed.  She has 38 contacts in the 2nd Pct since 2017 and 39 city-wide contacts.  2 convictions.
  • Samuel Hasse – In custody/HWB.  12/15/2020 hearing on Felony possession of burglary tools, on 5th Degree Assault, theft, 4th Degree damage to property, tamper vehicles, disorderly conduct.  A probation hearing has been added to that list.
  • Joshua Poplawski – Released from Work House 10/30/2020.  Charge is pending for 11/14/20 trespass; 12/9/20 arraignment on one charge, pretrial on one charge and First appearance on 2 charges.  1/5/21 Arraignment on 4 charges, 1/26/21 arraignment on one charge. He has 40 city-wide contacts since 1995, 24 police contacts in the 2nd precinct since 2003, 17 prior convictions.  Update on 12/14: Poplawski failed to appear on the 9th and now has a Bench Warrant. 

ACTIVE, OLDER BENCH WARRANTS:

  • Daniel Heacock – Did not appear for his  08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct.  He now has an active Bench Warrant.  Heacock has been found incompetent in the past.
  • Kirk Robledo –  On bench warrant status for failure to appear at court hearing on 10/6/20.  No updates or further cases.
  • Leslie Wade – On bench warrant status for failure to appear at 9/30/20 hearing on several open cases.  No updates or new cases.

Four people were removed from the watch list after having no  further citations for many months.

Last month,  Atty. Filardo outlined the Rule of 20.  If a person is not able to understand court proceedings or participate in their own defense, the hearing is not allowed to proceed and all those cases are put “On Pause”.   If it’s decided that this person will never be able to understand proceedings, a civil commitment may be indicated.   Civil commitment is when someone is institutionalized in a mental health facility.    A civil commitment is a possibility when a person’s actions are a danger to themselves or to others.   She emphatically stated that it’s very difficult to get someone off the streets using a civil commitment process.  The case would first go to social services to see what else they can do to work for him.  

The full statute can be read here:  https://www.revisor.mn.gov/court_rules/cr/id/20/

This month, Atty. Filardo raised an important issue for discussion:  Courts are backed up and are focusing on cases that are felonies or gross misdemeanors, rather than trespasses and low level incidents, which are still getting pushback.  Atty. Okoronkwo added that the First Precinct is still doing a longer list because it’s drawing from its 100 Cases project, which the 2nd Precinct does not use.   What we’re doing in our Courtwatch is static and doesn’t really look at issues that residents are concerned about. The other Precincts are watching higher level complaints in the courts.

Attenders chimed in, saying they’d like to see a more active plan, which is likely to be of more interest to 2nd Precinct residents.   Additionally, 2-PAC wants to see more reports and questions from other Second Precinct residents. 

Emilie Quast stated that she’d like to continue to track a few of the chronic offenders.  She is concerned that no one is being well served by the current model.   The repeat low-level offenders are taking up an inordinate (and expensive) amount of officer and other professional time when our force is understaffed; the community continues to deal with livability issues because nothing is in place to make them stop; the offenders are not having their mental health and other issues addressed while they continue to make themselves vulnerable.   Atty. Okoronkwo referred to these as “gap cases” and will file “intent to prosecute” when he sees that filing is warranted.  This will keep the offenders on the radar.

Probation Officer Ihrke commented that about half of the people on the longer (static) list are her clients.   The most chronic offenders know just how far they can go without being handed a penalty they don’t want to pay.   They are offered many kinds of services and generally evade  using them. 

We agreed that in January we’ll try a new Courtwatch model with more focus on immediate and higher-level offenses in the Precinct.  Thank you for working this to an agreement.


STATE OF THE PRECINCT:  Inspector Loining
Car-jacking has been a city-wide problem.   375 incidents throughout the city this year is 3 times the number in 2019.  A multi-agency “mop-up” took place on December 9-11,  with MPD, Sheriff’s Office, and the State Patrol, in coordination.   This was mostly on the South Side but touched all five precincts.   Results:   41 felony-level and 9 gross-misdemeanor citations written, 7 vehicles were recovered, and 5 handguns confiscated.  Among the arrests was the person believed responsible for two of the three 2nd Pct recent carjackings.  Congratulations!

Auto-theft has also surged, especially around food delivery and pickup sites.   Delivery services like DoorDash or Ubereats are likely targets, but residents picking up their orders are just as big targets.  Thieves are in the area, watching for the opportunity to hop in an unlocked running car and take off down the street.    For protection, turn off your car and lock it.  It only takes a minute to run in and get your pizza, but that’s plenty of time for someone to drive your car off.

Catalytic converter theft is another hot issue.   As of December 18, 2020, the current price of platinum is $1,043.10 per ounce; it tends to be two times the price of gold.   The Toyota Prius and Honda Element are the cars most targeted.   It takes a very few minutes for someone to remove the converter with a SawzAll.   Again: citizen eyes and ears are needed to combat this, so if you hear or see something, report it immediately.  A squad may be able to spot the thief’s car at his next stop in your area. 

The 2nd Precinct has long had three chronic trouble areas:  The Central Avenue corridor up to Lowry, Dinkytown, and Stadium Village near the Greenline station.     Patrols are frequent but there are still too many incidents.   We need more eyes on the streets here!

The Quarry is an area of rising concern during this holiday season.   There is always a level of shoplifting in the stores.   Cub has already hired security.   One surprising event was that two shoppers leaving Target were confronted by someone with a handgun, in the parking lot.   It only took him a moment to startle them, grab their bags, and leave. 

Staffing:   The Second Precinct has had its share of staffing issues and is actually 10 down from full staffing.  The MPD has a new officer draft this month:  23 new officers were graduated and have finished their field training.   The 2nd Precinct was awarded 8 of the 23 new officers!    Thanks to Inspector Loining and congratulations to us all.   Great News!


REPORTS FROM RESIDENTS and YOUR 2-PAC BOARD:
2020 would have been the 37th consecutive holiday season buffet at the Precinct for all first responders working on 12-24.   Sadly, we had to cancel.   Drawing donations and workers from across the Precinct would have brought far too many people into the Precinct, way over the most liberal Covid-19 safety guidelines for gathering.   The 37th Buffet will take place on December 24, 2021.   Everyone’s ideas and energy are needed.   We’ll start plans and meetings in November, 2021.  Stay tuned.
A list  of our regular donors — some of whom have been with us the entire 36 years — will be posted in the January “Northeaster Newspaper”.  Please support them.

A resident from Logan Park asked about NextDoor reports of multiple holdups in the area near University between 15th and 17th.   People were followed and threatened, some as they got into their cars.   Inspector Loining remarked that NextDoor is a valuable resource for community info, but the reporting isn’t always clear.  Meanwhile, CPS Juarez checked the reports file; he found 3 incidents in the area in November and 1 on December 2nd, definitely suggesting increased patrols.  It also points to the need for people to be very aware of their surroundings.

Cody Hoerning asked what are issues about retailers hiring off duty officers or other security.   There are several issues:  hiring a security service means many places will have to figure out who owes how much: it’s not a big expense for a national firm, but it may be a very big thing for a small operation.   There is also the fact that much of the shoplifting is done by teens.  If they get spotted and stopped, they may be aggressive trying to get away, which raises the liability issue: who is liable?

Carin Peterson, Sheridan Neighborhood Association reported a new tent cluster going up along Broadway near the bridge over the river.   Inspector Loining promised a visit there and thanked her.

Shout out to U of MN  Men’s Hockey team!

Another resident had three Thank you’s to offer.   Their car was stolen a year ago, recovered and returned — thank you!    This year, someone took their catalytic converter.   CPS Ali showed up and offered suggestions  to achieve better security for their car and elsewhere.   He is thanked for both services.

Our CPS’s Juarez and Ali will be administratively transferred to the Dept. of Neighborhood and Community Relations.  As of 12/14, there was no word if that is going to be an administrative move or if it would result in a physical move also.  

Finally, Inspector Loining got a big Thank You from attenders, led by Jeff Meehan. 

Emilie Quast, Board member, 2-PAC

Dec. 2020 Meeting, part 1: Hennepin County Justice Behavioral Health Initiative [preliminary report]

[Link to Zoom recording posted on Youtube at bottom of page]

In January, 2020, 2-PAC heard a presentation about the MPD Co-Responder program, which paired a professional mental health worker with an officer to respond to 911 calls answering people in mental health crisis. Thanks to Covid-19, this program has changed a lot since January.  I understand from Nick Juarez they are still “responding” but are now in a central office, NOT in the Precinct.  If so, clients still have a path to get into treatment at once, on the basis of the mental health worker’s ability to cut red tape.  Clients also still have a professional doing follow up with them and their families or S.O.s.  

When I heard about the changes, I contacted the Hennepin County Justice Behavioral Health Initiative, which administers this program in several suburbs and also covers the HCJ.    Leah Kaiser,  Senior  Administrator  in the Hennepin County Dept. of Behavioral Health to tell us how this program is being run in the time of Covid-19.  

However, last Wednesday she had to send me regrets that neither she nor a colleague could make it, but asked if we could reschedule after the first of the year. 

We can do that because this is the kind of program I think the Mpls City Council is working at designing.   It’s informative for us to look at a program in operation so we have something to hold up in comparison with the ideas coming out of City Hall. 

In the HC Justice Behavioral website I found and picked out the barest outline of their program, which I’m presenting here.  When I first came across this website, it sounded so much like the kind of program the City Council is talking about building.   I hope it provides the same kind of enlightenment for you.  

I also hope that you will look at this and start thinking about questions to ask Ms Kaiser when she makes it in to 2-PAC.   We should be able to get more in depth clarifications from her if we already understand the basics of the Hennepin County Behavioral Health Initiative.

The first reference is the source of my outline, which I followed pretty closely. https://www.hennepin.us/justicebehavioralhealth

After that is a list of newspaper articles and similar releases about parts of the program, progress they’ve achieved, and a few snags.

So: summarizing from the website: 

The traditional criminal justice system is not sufficiently responsive to clients who have mental and chemical health needs. …  Similarly, the behavioral health system is not designed to serve people who are also involved in the criminal justice process.These mismatches end up costing both the health care and criminal justice system too much money for little benefit to the people who need help most. 

In Hennepin County, the Criminal Justice Behavioral Health Initiative is working to break this cycle  … in hopes of creating better outcomes for some of our most vulnerable residents. County programs are drawing on county resources across systems… to focus more effort where it makes most sense in the criminal justice process.Their procedure:  

To foster collaboration among criminal justice, health and human services departments so that law enforcement and judicial professionals will recognize what mental illness looks like.   Only then can they tap effective responses.    Behavioral Health professionals will plan for continued care after a person has been discharged from either the county jail or a correctional facility.  Those professionals will also develop local programs for inmates who have been declared incompetent to stand trial but will also expand alternatives to jail or detention.  They will develop a network of community mental health providers who specialize in working within the criminal justice system. 

Desired outcomes include moving high need clients quickly into better coordinated community based mental health care services.   This should reduce the need for emergency room services and also lower the rate of recidivism. 

Examples of innovations already being developed include:
Integrated access teams which include social workers, chemical health counselors, housing specialists and community health workers who, with the sheriff’s office and the medical staff at Henn. County Jail, ID people who are at high risk to return to jail and who have serious mental health needs.   The team contacts them while they are in jail and stays in contact after release to link them to the set of services they need.  

Crisis intervention training (CIT) for law enforcement so they can better respond to calls where mental illness is a likely factor.  The website states they are pursuing alternative options for dropoff at locations where a person can immediately access mental health assessments, appropriate medication, detox, crisis housing and more.

At the Behavioral Health Center, many disciplines unite to produce a care model that has greater impact than any one approach can yield.     Clients can choose from a menu of options to achieve stability, based on what is most important to them.   At the Behavioral Health Center, clients will be connected to resources they need. 

check here ffi:  https://www.hennepin.us/-/media/hennepinus/your-government/projects-initiatives/documents/bhc-graphic.pdf 

Find more news stories here:

Restorative Court

Co-responder team

Crisis intervention training

Board briefing

—————————Also, someone asked me if I was “just talking about COPE”.   COPE is only one part of this comprehensive plan.

Youtube link from Dec 2PAC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK9HyxS6J-g

Nov. 9 Report, part 1

The Zoom meeting was called to order on Nov. 9, 2020 at 6:10 PM.  24 people attending
Our speaker was Michael Huffman, Director of outreach and shelter for St. Stephen’s Street Outreach program.   St. Stephen’s Street Outreach program is the go-to place that MPD, UMPD, MPRB-PD and others call first when they find someone needing food, shelter and other support. 

The Program’s Mission is to end homelessness.  Its mission statement:  We envision a community in which housing instability is rare, brief, and non-recurring, ending homelessness as we know it.

The Roadmap – topics covered in this presentation:

  • Homelessness in our community
  • Homelessness emergency response system
  • Agency overview:  St. Stephen’s human services
  • Street Outreach:  working with people experiencing homelessness
  • What can you do?

How many people are unsheltered in our community?  St. Stephens does a count, twice a year (except this year, July count canceled due to Covid-19).  A two year chart shows an increase from 404 in January, 2019,  to 732 18 months later.   St. Stephens believes this is an undercount.  See:  https://hennepin.us/-/media/hennepinus/your-government/projects-initiatives/end-homelessness/unsheltered-report-jul.2019.pdf
Where do homeless people shelter at night (% based on 2019 count): 
36.6% shelter on transit  (In August, the trains shut down several hours every night, so people shifted to other sites)
28.8% are on street, sidewalk or skyway15.3% are in a park or other open space12.7% are under a bridge or overpass9% are on private property or up all night5.6% are in a vehicle
The actual number shows a substantial 3-fold increase from 2015-2019 in Continuum of Care area that includes Hennepin and Ramsey County and Suburban Metro Area (which is made up of Anoka, Dakota, Scott, Carver and Washington counties that function as one unit).   The greatest leap was a 55% increase from 2018 to 2019.  The metro suburbs had the greatest number of unsheltered people in 2015 and 2016.   Since then, Hennepin County has reported larger number  than the other two divisions, combined.  

Racial disparities — Twin Cities
Unsheltered people in the Twin Cities are disproportionately non white.  Looking at population as a proportion of the whole, people of color show up 2.7 times more than expected.  African Americans appear 5.3 times more, and Native Americans are 27.1 times more likely to show up in the homeless population than their percents of the U.S. population as a whole. 
See  https://pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis-blogs/stateline/2019/03/29/a-pileup-of-inequities-why-people-of-color-are-hit-hardest-by-homelessnessand https://endhomelessness.org/resource/racial-equity-resources/
Putting it another way, if you compare percents of the total Minnesota adult population and the population of adult homeless

Identity     % of all      % of homeless
Black            5                 37

White          83                 34

Native           1                 12

Hispanic       4                   8

Asian           5                   2

Multi-race    1                   7


Causes of Homelessness (Symptoms, follow)

  • Affordable housing shortage
  • Lack of adequate shelter space
  • Lack of adequate services for mental health & substance use disorder
  • Institutionalized racism
  • Historical trauma
  • Personal trauma
  • Drug epidemic – cheap and accessible opiates, meth, etc.

Symptoms of homelessness include substance use disorder, untreated mental health issues, etc. 

Note that what “we” see may not be that abnormal.  It’s easier to recognize when someone is homeless, because they do not have a place to stay — everything happens out on the street.  In contrast, substance use and  untreated mental health issues among people who do have shelter, is not obvious; it’s hidden from view. 
https://mappingprejudice.umn.edu/https://www.tpt.org/sold-out-affordable-housing-at-risk/https://nlihc.org/housing-needs-by-state/minnesota
HOMELESSNESS EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM The emergency response system includes

  • Outreach teams  – St. Stephens has nine outreach staff and a program manager
  • Shelters – St. Stephens has two shelters, but is also one of five providers in a collaborative shelter group.  This is growing, and there is also a winter partner, Elim in NE Mpls.
  • Service support: Hennepin County provides additional access workers for the homeless, as well as health care, diversion, and recovery team
  • Housing providers

AGENCY OVERVIEW During fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, St. Stephens served: 3152 Households 598 Families 1356 Children
4676 Unique individuals (many of these are contacts from the outreach program and are one-time interactions)
2553 Single adults 159 Veterans NB: the above numbers do not show a true count.  Some folks were not included in the above count since the kind of services they received doesn’t fall neatly into only one category or would have inflated St. Stephens’ population
AGENCY OVERVIEW

  • 683 Next Step assessments were completed with  Hennepin county families.
  •  Households in the Prevention Program received an average of $3223 per household.
  •  47.3% of the households were new to this program in FY2020, while 52.7% were carried over from the previous year.
  • 1132 individuals were provided shelter for at least one night.
  • Street outreach staff had 4647 engagements with 1020 known individuals and 1638 engagements with previously unknown individuals.

Emergency Response programs include

  • Street outreach
  • Housing Programs
    • Prevention
    • Rapid-rehousing
    • Permanent Supportive Housing for Singles and Families
  • Community Education
    • A Day In The Life (ADITL)
  • Representative payee program, a court ordered program.   About 550 people need St. Stephens to handle their Social Security every month.
  • Community Resources
    • Birth Certificates
    • Handbook of the Streets
    • Holiday drop ins

STREET OUTREACH – Working with people experiencing homelessness, staying in places not meant for human habitation

  • Objectives of Street Outreach Services, providing intervention that better meet the needs of homeless people than police intervention programs can because this is not a crisis situation, to:   1) Support individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness; 2)  Decrease street homelessness; 3) Decrease arrests at calls where social service intervention would be more effective; 4) Provide emergency resources; 5) Provide housing opportunities and long term support; 6) Respond to non-emergency calls from concerned citizens.
    • HARM REDUCTION AND HOUSING FIRST:  Meeting people where they are–emotionally, physically and geographically; There is no requirement to be “housing ready”
      https://harmreduction.org/about-us/principles-of-harm-reduction
    • EFFECTIVE STREET OUTREACH:  1) Engagement that is respectful and non-judgmental; 2) Assessments that focus on individuals’ safety and harm-reduction; 3) Client-centered, patient and resourceful; 4) Compassionate and personalized.
    • RESOURCE REFERRALS:  1)  Immediate:  Emergency shelter, basic needs, emergency medical, crisis response, advocacy.    2) Longer term:  Mental health services; Substance use disorder services, employment services, permanent housing, supportive service, ongoing case management services.  Everything St. Stephens is doing has a goal of permanent, appropriate, safe housing.
  • PARTNERSHIPS:  Law enforcement, DID, Faith communities, Business, Neighborhood groups, Court system (which is changing, still), Social service providers.

WHAT CAN YOU DO  —  ACTION STEPS:

  • See the humanity of the individual in front of you
    • Say “Hello” –  don’t treat the person as invisible
  • Educate yourself on the systemic causes of homelessness
    • Day In The Life (see the reference below)
  • Advocate for a Human response to a humanitarian crisis
    • Reach out to elected officials to push for more funding for housing of several kinds
  • Donate to Groups Addressing Homelessness
  • Volunteer
    • Meal groups
  • Call the St. Stephens community line to inform them of individuals needing support.
    • St. Stephens / 2309 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis MN 55404   ph.(612) 879-7624

https://ststephensmpls.org/learn-advocate/day-lifehttps://ststephensmpls.org/donatehttps://ststephensmpls.org/learn-advocate/what-should-i-do-ifhttps://ststephensmpls.org/handbooks
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS on the Q&A
Q:   Many shelters require a person to be completely substance free.   What would be a step in the right direction if this is a problem A:  There has been a shift in the last 4 years to move away from sobriety-based shelter.  Currently, 1 floor of Salvation Army, two shelters operated by St. Stephens (1st Covenant downtown and St. Stephens in South Mpls.), Simpson and Our Savior’s all are non-sober (folks can’t be actively using, but they can come in after using), Elim was more stringent, but that is now loosening up.Q: What percent of homeless are working jobs?A: Huffman uses the range 35-40% of folks using the shelter have jobs.    The unfortunate part of that is that 1) Some folks are working labor, temporary or cash only jobs,  which are  inconsistent; 2) Some are working minimum wage jobs, which is not enough to be able to afford an apartment  (someone working minimum wage must work between 80 and 95 hours a week to be able to rent a one BR)  3) Some some better paying jobs were working 3rd shifts, but then people needed a safe place to sleep during the day.   Recently, Hennepin County began to support shelters so they could be open 24/7, so 3rd shift workers could also have a safe place to sleep during the day.Q: Compound question:  have funds been allocated to fund MPHA to retrofit and occupy Elliot Towers?  What is the cost per unit for  resident housing?A: When you are talking about affordable housing, Huffman focuses on people earning 0-15% of Area Median Income.  The units that are being put up are for 50-60% and up to 80% of Area Median Income — AMI.  Even though that is  considered “affordable” for the general population, this is not attainable for the people St. Stephens and other shelters are serving in their programs.Q: How do we solve the issue of homelessness?  We’re providing more and more services but how do we solve the problem?   Do we offer more employment?   Asker is concerned that providing services turns us into enablers.A: It has to be “Both – And”.  There is a subset of the population that can work. There is a significant portion, 30-40% that are on Social Security or Disability; they have been determined by the government to be unable to work enough hours to be able to afford housing.   The government is giving them in the neighborhood of $700-800 a month, which is not enough to afford housing.  In the 1980s, the government divested from affordable housing (which only took 25-30% of a person’s income for rent).  Now we’re seeing the ramifications of that:  the infrastructure of that 1980 apartment is crumbling; affordable buildings were sold to commercial investors who didn’t care for their property.  Nationwide, we have a shortage of  7.5 million affordable housing units.  As our units crumble or disappear, we have more and more people homeless.  When we provide “shelter” we push people from place to place but ignore what they need to feel safe and welcome — people need to want to go inside. This summer, Hennepin  County has provided a range of services, but the result was pushing people from one place to another, separating them from resources that they might be able to access.   Currently, in unsheltered camps, there is an HIV outbreak.  The CDC has stated that moving people from camp to camp is NOT a best practice.  It’s not a best practice putting people in congregate sites.   Yet Hennepin County is doing those things.  We need more money, but different allocation of it.
Q: Do people come to our area because of the benefits we offer? 
A:  A study of general population inflow and outflow compared with people who are homeless found there was no significant difference between groups.   So: yes we have good benefits and services, but no, that is not why people are coming here.  People come because they have family here, they grew up here, they heard of a job opportunity. 
Q: St. Stephens is offering 24 hour services but the Salvation Army is still asking people to leave 8AM to 8PM.   Some are providing lunch, but between Covid-19 and cold weather coming, there isn’t much for many people.  Asker helped run the Boom Island Camp, and relayed that getting people to services they need is piecemeal and difficult. 
A: Huffman reported that currently, Safebay and Sally’s have been running night-by-night, not 24/7.   They are working on moving to 24 hour open, but have not been able to provide that yet.   Right now,  Safebay is being renovated, so it will be January before they can shift to 24 hours.   Guests at Safebay and Sally’s can have meals on site. 
Q: What is the cost of constructing ONE unit of housing? (studio or small 1-br)A: It’s in the neighborhood of  $230,000, for new construction of affordable housing.  He doesn’t have any info about retrofit.Q: What’s the status of the project where Minneapolis is building micro-units in a warehouse? What’s the cost of that?A:  Huffman has not seen a final cost of that.   The city is moving forward and hope to have it usable by the end of the year.   That will be around 100 units.  [EQ: but the SS count of unsheltered people in Jan. 2019,  was 732, see above]
Q: Instead of providing these units, does it make sense to provide these individuals $300-$400 to go into existing units in the city?A:  There was a pilot project, each person was presented with a check (perhaps) $7000.  They were NOT surprised to find that many did not find housing.  Many homeless people have flags in their background.   A background check will uncover a previous offense.   Again,we have  a very tight market in affordable housing; less than 2% of affordable units are vacant. Just throwing dollars is only part of a bigger solution.Chiming in to the answer by someone who works to find housing for clients:   The county gives perimeters: she may look for a 4BR house for a family of 6, at $1600/month.   She has a long list of landlords who are willing to work with her, but they have few vacancies.  If a client has an  eviction history, or felony in past history, and it gets more complicated.Q: In the past, a relative had an apartment in a subsidized building that had rent based on income: 25% of income, with a cap at market rate.  What happened to that?A. President Reagan shifted that resource into other things: War on Drugs and similar services.  

The Youtube recording of this meeting is here:   https://youtu.be/5DpZkdKvNhI


Emilie Quast, Board member
MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)
Minneapolis MN 55418
e-quas@tc.umn.edu
Attachments area Preview YouTube video 2PAC Meeting November 2020- “Unsheltered Populations and St. Stephen’s Outreach”

2-PAC Nov. report, part 2

COURTWATCH.   County Attorney Sandra Filardo, presenting:  

UPDATES

  • Kelli Durow (aka Tamera Hoveland) –  In custody on $12,000 bail.  12/08/2020 Hearing on Rule 20 return and 12/11/2020 Pretrial.
  • Samuel Hasse – In custody/HWB.  11/23/2020 hearing on Felony possession of burglary tools, and 11/24/2020 hearing on 5th Degree Assault, theft, 4th Degree damage to property, tamper vehicles, disorderly conduct.
  • Daniel Heacock – Did not appear for his  08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct.  He now has an active Bench Warrant.  Heacock has been found incompetent in the past.
  • Cody Horton – Presently in Mental Health Court on 27CR1877174 for Reckless Discharge of Firearm within a Municipality. Doing well in Mental Health Court and currently residing and supervised in Stearns County.  No new cases.  Review hearing 11/19/20.
  • Christian Klockeman – Pled on 9/22/20 in Mental Health Court to Felony Threats of Violence-Reckless Disregard Risk.  Sentenced to St. Cloud Correctional Facility for 24 months, all stayed for 3 years.  No new cases and all accompanying misdemeanors cases were dismissed.  Under court supervision; review hearing 11/09/2020.
  • Joshua Poplawski – Released from Work House 10/30/2020.  11/30 arraignment for 10/20 5th Degree Assault.  11/30 first appearance for 10/26 GM trespass. 1/5/21 arraignment for 9/10/ trespass. 12/09/2020 first appearance for 12/22/19 GM trespass.  1/5/2021 arraignment for 3/2/20 trespass.  12/09/20 pretrial for 3/0/20 GM trespass.1/5/21 arraignment for 2/4/20 trespass.  He has 40 city-wide contacts since 1995, 24 police contacts in the 2nd precinct since 2003, 17 prior convictions.
  • Kirk Robledo –  On bench warrant status for failure to appear at court hearing on 10/6/20.  No updates or further cases.
  • Michael Zaccardi – In custody, $40,000 bail.   11/16/20 pretrial for 7/13/20 felony 5th degree assault. 11/16/20 probation violation hearing; was using drugs in violation of his probation agreement.  Probation officer was working to get the defendant placed in a chemical dependency program. 

NO UPDATES

  • Richard Breen – Attended his 9/30/20 out-of-custody pre-trial date in Restorative Court and the matters were continued until 11/18/20.  He also has an arraignment date on 12/17/20 for a trespass he picked up downtown on 7/27/20.
  • Tanner DeWitt – Released from Department of Corrections on 9/14/20 and under parole supervision until 2/21/21.
  • Johnny Hall –   Discharge from probation, 9/17/2020.  No new cases.
  • Daniel Heacock – Did not appear for his  08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct.  He now has an active Bench Warrant.  Heacock has been found incompetent in the past.
  • Paula Heile – remains on probation until 7/12/21. No further updates.
  • Miles Shaw  – Parole ended on 9/25/20.  Defendant is no longer under Department of Corrections jurisdiction.  No updates or new cases.
  • Leslie Wade – On bench warrant status for failure to appear at 9/30/20 hearing on several open cases.  No updates or new cases.

Emilie raised the question of how our current system for low level offenders is working.   Looking at Joshua Poplawski, since his last release from custody, he has picked up  many more citations and has court dates stretching out to 2021.  Emilie pointed out that current procedures do not seem to be working well for Mr. Poplawski since he remains homeless and vulnerable on the streets, and she’s not sure it’s working out for the rest of us either. 

Atty. Filardo responded that the law was not written by social workers or mental health workers.   The law was written to protect a person’s Constitutional right for a fair trial, which means he must understand the procedure and be able to participate in his own defense.

On another topic, Atty. Filardo outlined the Rule of 20.  If a person is not able to understand court proceedings or participate in their own defense, the hearing is not allowed to proceed and all those cases are put “On Pause”.   If it’s decided that this person will never be able to understand proceedings, a civil commitment may be indicated.   Civil commitment is when someone is institutionalized in a mental health facility.    A civil commitment is a possibility when a person’s actions are a danger to themselves or to others.   She emphatically stated that it’s very difficult to get someone off the streets using a civil commitment process.  The case would first go to social services to see what else they can do to work for him.  

The full statute can be read here:  https://www.revisor.mn.gov/court_rules/cr/id/20/
STATE OF THE PRECINCT:
Inspector Loining joined us to share some of the work they’re doing.    Most of the work right now is property crimes. Crime maps for the last two weeks suggest more robberies, burglaries, and thefts of motor vehicles and from vehicles, still centered in Dinkytown and along the University and Central Avenue corridors. There has also been a spate of theft in high rise apartment buildings, including from the garages.   People use automatic garage door openers, drive in and look for a place to park.  Often there is a delay before the door closes again, and that delay is enough time for someone to zip into the garage and look for things to steal from cars.  Also, a lot of bicycles are being taken from underground garages, even the ones secured with kryptonite locks. 

Inspector Loining and CPS Juarez and CPS Ali did a security inspection of a new apartment building in near NE, and got to suggest faster closing of the garage door, and to talk about security cameras, lighting and signage.   Some of the high rises are willing to hire private security staff. 

Auto theft is a rising concern but in the University area, mo-peds are very popular among students and theft is rising for them, as well.   In the last week, the 2nd Precinct had 19 auto thefts, 13 of them in Marcy Holmes. and 6 of the 13 were taken with keys or left idling.   Theft from motor vehicle:  the Inspector related that 28 years ago when he started in a squad car in the 2nd Precinct, theft from motor vehicle was a constant problem; nothing’s changed, it still is.
Theft from apartments seems to happen in clusters when someone is having a party in a building, and people in the building leave their apartments unlocked because it’s in “their building”.   

However, there is more activity moving into the residential areas in NE.   Waite park had three garage burglaries in a small area, and all three were forced entry.  Officers are rolling through more alleys looking for unlocked garages or other issues.  If they see an open garage, they have a special placard to hang on it, reminding people to lock the garage doors, too.

Inspector Loining called attention to three robbery of persons in the last week and one very concerning car jacking at 1319 Marshall St. NE.   There was also a robbery at 15th and 7th Street SE; the criminals fled in a car, and a witness got the license number.   The problem was that it was a stolen car.  One more robbery at 2813, 4th St. SE.  Two of these were strong arm, no weapons involved and in the third, the victim was sprayed with Mace.  There were also three aggravated assaults, meaning with a weapon that could inflict bodily harm (a part 1 crime).   One at 2100 East Hennepin, a person was threatening with a knife and officers made an arrest.  One at 1540 New Brighton Boulevard, was at Cub Foods and was between co-workers, not stranger on stranger.   A third was at 620 Central, the Holiday Station.  Someone walked up to a person and smashed him in the face with hot coffee!

One more: 1620 Central Ave. has had a number of thefts.   CPS Ali has been working with management on increasing security in that building. 

Then, a success story.   UPS has had a number of thefts of packages; the total valuation was $15,000!   The Precinct assisted with the investigation, and discovered a former employee had done the theft.  Officers stopped him in his vehicle, and were able to recover much of the stolen material. 

Inspector Loining closed with an affirmation that, despite all the news about people leaving the MPD, the officers of the Second Precinct remain a solid team, committed to keeping the Second Precinct the safest place in Minneapolis.   Officers want to serve, they want to protect,

Last minute announcement:  Check out  Operation Safety Now.   There is a website, https://www.safetynowmpls.com/  and they were covered in a KARE-ll story which is linked to the home page.  Check them out.  The website includes tabs at the top:  Talking Points, Take Action, News and Updates. 

Q:  Has the MPD ever tried putting alerts or reports out on social media.  
A:  There was a small trial a few weeks ago, yve you

On a brighter note, with the advent of cold weather, bike thefts are way down. 

2-PAC Oct. meeting, part 1

The Zoom meeting was called to order at 6:10.  Crime Prevention Specialist, Rashid Ali, presenting.
Policing  today is at a critical point.   The MPD has been understaffed for a long, long time.   MPD  also has a number of people at or close to retirement age, further decimating the roster.   Officers report having to race from call to call to call, without enough time to reach out and connect with bystanders, friends or family.  It’s those connections that make a police force part of the community.   Meanwhile Part 1 crimes are being reported more often.  

One thing all residents can do to keep themselves and their neighbors safe, and to help the officers keep our neighborhoods safe, is to learn how Block Clubs work and take Block Club Leader training, so you have a complete picture of city services work.    

On October 12, CPS Rashid Ali presented today’s Block Club Leader program.

The Second Precinct is divided into two sectors:
Sector 1: North of Broadway Street NE.   Abdirashid Ali, Crime Prevention Specialist,  email:  Abdirashid.Ali@minneapolismn.gov  (612) 673-2874 Sector 2: South of Broadway Street NE.  Nicholas Juarez, Crime Prevention Specialist. email:  Nicholas.Juarez@minneapolismn.gov   (612) 673-2797
When we talk about “community policing”, one of the bedrocks is establishing a partnership between residents and the police.   The way to do that is to organize as many  block clubs as we can, and find as many volunteer block club leaders as possible.   The original goal was 90% coverage of the city. 

Before the pandemic, when Nick and Rashid were door knocking to talk with residents about a crime or a developing situation, they would try to recruit people to see if people were interested in organizing to reduce crime on their block.   Any information gathered for recruiting, like any other personal information known to the police, is NEVER shared with anyone.   If someone on a block wants to get in touch with the BC Leader on their block, your  CPS  will contact the leader and ask them to contact their neighbor.  

The Block Club Leader works with the police and with the neighbors.   The goal is to reduce crime by reducing opportunity for crime to happen.  When something serious happens, the CPS contacts the BC Leader.  When that person hears of something happening on the block, they inform the police.   The position is completely voluntary. Leaders can leave any time they want, and rejoin at a later time.   It’s also fine to have multiple leaders on one block. 

The only other requirement to be a BC Leader is you must host two events a year.   For many people, one event is a National Night Out  party on the first Tuesday of August.   People have had all sorts of second events, including cookouts, wine tastings, a neighborhood association session, anything.  Someone in Columbia Heights hosted a sit down dinner in their home to discuss a concerning situation that was developing in C.H.
WHAT DO BLOCK CLUBS DO? 
           Create stability, by providing an opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other and watch out for each other.   As awareness increases, the opportunity for crime                  decreases.  Block clubs encourage information sharing and promote partnerships and collaboration to solve shared problems. The goal is always to create a strong                  organization where people know each other and share.                     
           How we do that: We encourage people to be “Active Bystanders”.   Know what is “normal”  for your block or neighborhood so you can spot suspicious activity, like:                  
                  Persons running through yards or walking close to houses where they don’t belong,
                  Vehicles driving slowly through the area,
                  People going door to door without proper identification,
                  People walking down the street/alley looking in vehicle windows or garages.              
If the CPS gets a report that something is happening, we’ll contact the BC Leader so they can let the neighbors know it’s happened, and to watch and report if that’s called for.
INFORMATION TOOLS
Crime alert bulletins are probably the most timely reports.   They are issued to Block Club Leaders and others by Rashid and Nick as soon as possible, and they go through  Gov.Delivery.  If a resident wants to receive this, contact your CPS to be added to the delivery list.

The city has tools, which we’ll share when we train BC Leaders, including crime alerts, maps, dashboards.  These are open resources.  
www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/crimealert/index.htm   for the index to crime alerts     
www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/crimealert/police/statistics.htm  This is the dashboard.

You can sign up here:
www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/crimealert/police_crimealert_signup

Dashboards are part of the MPD’s intent to be transparent in their work.  Chief Arradondo believes that transparency with the public is an important part of his mission. If you lose the above URLs, just Google “City of Minneapolis.  Crime alert”   or “City of Minneapolis. Crime facts”

A new resource, Raidsonline, was introduced by the Star Tribune: https://www.startribune.com/it-happened-where-new-tools-online-try-to-make-minneapolis-safer/244123081/The story includes a link so you can look at it.  If you open the screen, you’ll find you can specify the kinds of crime you want to learn more about and build your search around those
topics.
Minneapolis also has a dashboard for getting many different kinds of police and other official reports.   Check here:  https://www.minneapolismn.gov/resident-services/public-safety/police-public-safety/police-reports-and-data-requests/

Finally, if you want to report a crime that doesn’t necessarily need an officer to show up that can be done here: http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/police/report/eReport/index.htm     The left side of the screen includes a long list of crimes that can be reported using this form, such as forgery, suspected abuse, damage to property, suspected narcotics issues, and more.

BLOCK LEADERS – The basic point of being a Block Club Leader is to be a point of contact between  the 2nd Precinct and the people in your Block Club area. 

Determine what your area will be – standard coverage is a 1.5 – 2 block radius around your house
Try and hold 2 meetings a year (National Night Out, usually held on the 1st Tuesday in August, is one event)
      -Don’t always focus on crime
      -Keep it simple
      -Celebrate your successes, share good interactions with the police, share progress toward goals
      -Invite everybody on your block
               DO include businesses, faith communities
Best way to do outreach – door knock
      -Determine best way to stay connected  which could be FaceBook, Twitter, Email, other social media              
Identify Community Concerns:      
         -Define the concern
         -Get accurate information
               Has 311 and/or 911 been called
               Fact vs. neighborhood rumor
               The resources available  to help is depends on the nature of the concern, which your CPS can help you sort out
                     Civil vs. criminal issues
                     Regulatory services vs. Police issue
         -Develop an Action Plan
                    What resources are available to the neighborhood
                    Who will do what
        -Brainstorm solutions
                   Eliminate the concern
                   Move the concern
                   Manage the concern better
                          Repair the problem
                          Reduce the harm
                          Reduce the problem
If you are interested in learning more or signing up, contact Rashid or Nick at the addresses above.    When they have enough people on the list, they’ll organize a training.  [EQ comment: please don’t hold back if you plan to move out of the area in a few years.   Some form of these services and procedures will be available almost anywhere you move in the U.S., so you’ll be ahead of the game when you leave us and take your good training with you.  BCL training is concise and informative; it’s not hours and hours of lecture.]

ADDITIONAL TOPICS

WHEN TO CALL 911 OR 311
Call 911 for the following:
          Crime in progress
          Attempted Auto Theft
          Burglary
          Immediate threat to personal safety
          Truancy / curfew violations
          You are witnessing suspicious activity happening

Call 911 If:
          You have suspect information;   There is evidence to be collected

All 911 calls are prioritized:
           A squad will respond to the incident location unless you call back and cancel the squad
           Response time varies depending on what is happening in the Precinct and in the City
           Observe and report
Please remember that the two top priority calls are Person in Danger, and Crime in Progress. 

Your call IS important, and will be added to the priority list whether there is a squad available to drive to your location or not.   If something has happened that you want to file with your insurance company, you’ll need a police document number.   The officers at the Second Precinct will take your complete report and issue you a “blue card” with that file number on it.  

Tips for calling the Minneapolis 911 Center:  http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/911/tipsforcalling
CRIME STOPPERS OF MINNEAPOLIS  Report Crime Information Anonymously Without Fear of Retaliation http://www.crimestoppersmn.org/sitemenu.aspx?ID=674&   1-800-222-8477 Crime Stoppers of Minnesota provides a safe place for citizens to provide anonymous information about crime and fugitives. We’ll deliver your information to the proper authorities to investigate without revealing your identity. If the information you provided leads to a felony arrest, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. CALL 311 FOR THE FOLLOWING:
Street, Traffic, or Parking:
      Traffic light issues
      Inoperable vehicle on street
Housing complaints:
     Long grass
     Broken screens
     Lack of utilities
     Trash in yard

Public Safety issues
     For suspicious activity not happening at time of call
     Questions about the City of Minneapolis answered here
WORKSHOPS AND PROGRAMS OFFERED BY MPD AND YOUR CPS
       Personal/Workplace Safety Presentations
             Call your local CPS to schedule
             Presentations can be modified for your needs
       Citizens Academy
       2PAC, includes 2nd Precinct CourtWatch   (2nd Monday of every Month)
       Open House (often the 2nd Monday of May:  Free supper, Kids bike give-away, Explore MPD special equipment including robots!)
       Block Club Training
       National Night Out – 1st Tuesday in August help

WHAT CRIME PREVENTION SPECIALISTS AND POLICE DO NOT DO:      Mediate neighbor disputes. (We typically send to Conflict Resolution Center at www.crcminnesota.org or 612.822.9883, except in some situations)
     Give specific referrals (i.e., management, locksmiths, security companies, etc.)
      Provide any legal advice
     Get involved in anything that is NOT a criminal situation (civil matters)
     Make judgment calls (ex: moving into an area, whether to contact landlords on specific situations, etc.)
     Kick down doors
     Evict tenants (civil matter)
     Declare a nuisance property (County)

The meeting recording has been posted on Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd8MqZTq404


Emilie Quast, Board member
MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council
Minneapolis MN 55418
e-quas@tc.umn.edu

2PAC Oct. meeting, report, part 2

COURTWATCH.   City Attorney Nnamdi Okoronkwo presenting:  

UPDATES

  • Richard Breen – Attended his 9/30/20 out-of-custody pre-trial date in Restorative Court and the matters were continued until 11/18/20.  He also has an arraignment date on 12/17/20 for a trespass he picked up downtown on 7/27/20.
  • Tanner DeWitt – Released from Department of Corrections on 9/14/20 and under parole supervision until 2/21/21.
  • Samuel Hasse – out of custody.   On bench warrant status as of 9/21/20 for a conditional release violation on the terms of his last release.  Listed as homeless with no way to reach him to inform him of new court date of 10/22/20.  No updates or new cases.
  • Daniel Heacock – Did not appear for his  08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct.  He now has an active Bench Warrant.  Heacock has been found incompetent in the past.
  • Cody Horton – Presently in Mental Health Court on 27CR1877174 for Reckless Discharge of Firearm within a Municipality.  Doing well in Mental Health Court and currently residing and supervised in Stearns County.  No new cases.
  • Christian Klockeman – Pled on 9/22/20 in Mental Health Court to Felony Threats of Violence-Reckless Disregard Risk.  Sentenced to St. Cloud Correctional Facility for 24 months, all stayed for 3 years.  No new cases and all accompanying misdemeanors cases were dismissed.
  • Kirk Robledo –  On bench warrant status for failure to appear at court hearing on 10/6/20.  No updates or further cases.
  • Leslie Wade – On bench warrant status for failure to appear at 9/30/20 hearing on several open cases.  No updates or new cases.
  • Michael Zaccardi – Probation violation warrant issued on 10/9/20 by Hennepin County Probation because defendant is using again and in violation of his probation agreement.  Probation officer was working to get the defendant placed in a chemical dependency program. 

AWAITING A HEARING

  • Joshua Poplawski – Continues to be a nuisance in the University of Minnesota area as he is homeless and has picked our several new trespass cases.  Next court appearance is December 9, 2020.

NO UPDATES

  • Kelli Durow (aka Tamera Hoveland) –  On bench warrant status as of 7/20/20 for a non-appearance for a competency review status.  No updates or new cases.
  • Johnny Hall –  Conviction on 7/08/20 for 27CR201587.  Serve 15 months, stayed 1 day.  Discharge from probation.  No new cases.
  • Daniel Heacock – Did not appear for his  08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct.  He now has an active Bench Warrant.  Heacock has been found incompetent in the past.
  • Paula Heile – remains on probation until 7/12/21. No further updates.
  • Miles Shaw  – Parole ended on 9/25/20.  Defendant is no longer under Department of Corrections jurisdiction.  No updates or new cases.

 STATE OF THE PRECINCT:  October 12 review of trends mapped during the previous 2 weeks 

Between 9/28 and 10/11, 4 assaults and 11 robberies of persons were recorded in the 2nd Precinct.  Most crime in the 2nd Precinct remains theft from motor vehicle, theft of motor vehicle, bike theft.  Hot spots remain Marcy Holmes, especially Dinkytown, for all kinds of reported crime.  Prospect Park had the heaviest concentration of bike theft.
The following analysis is offered with no intent to diminish the impact of crime on its victims;  anyone who has been a target of a criminal has been strongly impacted. 

It is important, for balance, to know that during the first 9 months and 2 weeks of 2020, the Second Precinct reported only 7.95% of all Minneapolis crime.   Our tally of 333 incidents, while it is up from our 2019 tally for the same period, still proves that the Second Precinct is a very safe place to live. 

Residents can lower the 2020 final tally of reported crime in several ways.  We’ve been told by many officers that it’s important for us to remove valuables from our cars (including the trunk), to lock our cars, to lock up our bikes, to lock garages and porches, and to keep an eye out for unusual activity in your area.   Then, contact your Crime Prevention Specialist and ask to be put on the list for the next Block Club Leader training.  
Sector 1: North of Broadway Street NE.  email:  Abdirashid.Ali@minneapolismn.gov  (612) 673-2874 Sector 2: South of Broadway Street NE. 

email:  Nicholas.Juarez@minneapolismn.gov   (612) 673-2797
The above statistics were gleaned from the MPD Dashboard, referred to in Rashid Ali’s presentation.   Check the current reports and maps here:   http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/police/statistics/

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council

Minneapolis MN 55418

Sept. report, part 1: Detention, Probation and Covid-19

2-PAC met by Zoom on Sept 14 at 6 PM.  24 attenders

CHANGES IN DETENTION PRACTICES
The following is a summary by Emilie Quast of the “Detention Reduction”,  report on a Hennepin County initiative to improve outcomes for folks arrested in Hennepin County. 

Hennepin County District Court saw a need to change the rules for pretrial detention several years before Covid-19 made that a critical health issue. In 2016, the 4th Judicial District Court formed a team with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Hennepin County Community Corrections and Rehabilitation, Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Dept., Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office, Minneapolis Police Dept., suburban police departments and Hennepin County Administration.

Team members began looking for standards to reduce holding and incarceration rates.   The ultimate goal was to find better ways to improve the chances of good outcomes (change of behavior) in the folks who’d been cited or arrested.  The program was named the “Adult Detention Initiative”.

The Initiative has always had a single two-part goal which is to make sure that pre-trial detention is only applied to individuals who:

  •  Pose a threat to public safety,  OR
  •  Have a high risk of not appearing for their court hearings.

The committee had already begun reviewing individual cases when Covid-19 appeared here.  Because safe distancing and other safety rules can’t be followed in crowded jails, the team stepped up the rate of reviews to get the program moving faster.  It certainly helped that some of the groundwork was already in place and being tested

The multipart procedure is working well enough:

  • Bail reviews and hearings by judges take place early in the procedure.
  • People arrested on Hennepin warrants in any county receive multiple reviews to see if they can be released without bail.
  • Certain levels of authority were delegated to the County Probation Dept. to review for release on conditions.
  • All inmates at the Hennepin County workhouse who  were released daily to go to work were placed on electronic home monitoring instead of having to return to jail.

Also, people who were out of custody but were sentenced to serve time in the workhouse, had their “Report to the Workhouse” dates pushed back in the calendar to avoid adding to the workhouse population.

The District Court-led programs and initiatives are outlined in the document cited later in this report.

The document also lists programs NOT led by the District Court.  These include Sign and Release, Book-and-Release, Meet and Release, Same-Day Release, and a program we
hear about in Courtwatch quite often, Restorative Court.

Restorative Court puts offenders charged with relatively minor offenses, livability offenses,  in contact with social workers instead of a judge or Probation Officers.  The goal of Restorative Court  is to let the offender “Restore” the harm he’s done to the community by working on services in the community.  This program also reduces the number of bench warrants being written up because people missed their court dates.   A typical Restorative Court offense would be loitering or public urination.

The group worked on five different strategies:

  • Alternatives for the mentally ill.
  • Encouraging probation compliance to avoid unnecessary arrest and detention (A&D) warrants.
  • Alternatives to Bench Warrants.
  • Eliminating unnecessary delays.
  • Ensuring decisions to detain or release are based on risk of not appearing for court or threat to public safety.

The last four strategies were addressed in the programs and initiatives already mentioned, but the first strategy, Identifying Alternatives for the Mentally Ill, led to the creation of Criminal Justice Behavioral Health Initiative, which, in turn, resulted in opening the Behavioral Health Center at 1800 Chicago Avenue.  The Center is funded by Hennepin County and operated by Hennepin County Human Services.

For more information, check the full document:  https://www.mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/fourth_district/documents/Criminal/HCDCPretrialDetentionReduction.pdf

To see how far the population in the jail had declined, I looked for a headcount of people, preferably a compiled list going back six months or so.   I couldn’t find one.   Holly Ihrke pointed me to Jeremy Zoss,  Director of Communications, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.  Mr. Zoss offered the following:  Before the pandemic, there were between 600 and 800 people in jail each day  He estimated the average was in the low 700s.

Since the detention reduction measures went into effect, most days the population is closer to 400, with a range of 350 to 550 — substantially below the high mark, but also
lower than the low “typical” number, 600 people.  During the demonstrations this summer, the population spiked to 550, but that again, is lower than the 600 to 800 range.   Per Mr Zoss, “Most days are closer to 400.”

On 4/22, The Spokesman Recorder, in an article about this topic, reported, “815 on March 16 to 456 on April 14”   which echoes Mr. Zoss’s estimates.  It’s a good read, I think.  See https://spokesman-recorder.com/2020/04/22/hennepin-county-jail-population-cut-by-44-in-light-of-covid-19/

On 9-14, the population was 540, up again.  By 9/25, it was 471.  This list is updated M-W-F, only.  You can follow the daily numbers at the jail information which includes COVID-19 statistics here:   https://www.hennepinsheriff.org/jail-warrants/jail-information/COVID-19
—————————

CHANGES IN PROBATION PRACTICES

The Hennepin County Dept. of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation includes the Neighborhood Probation Unit, which includes Holly Ihrke, the Probation Officer who is a member of the professional team that offers insight to 2-PAC meetings every month.

I asked her to explain what exactly probation officers do, what the goals of the Probation Unit are and if this has changed in the pandemic.  

SERVICE TO COMMUNITY IS THE FIRST GOAL

Serving the Community is a leading goal for H.C. Probation Officers; they are proud of their service. The neighborhood probation supervision  model started in 1997 for both juvenile and adult probation.  The model  is focused on serving  the needs of clients in the context of the clients’ community which has needs and expectations.  The community-based model works to build sustainable relationships or bridges, among clients, but also  between clients, community, and law enforcement agencies.  POs respond to the needs of the community and focus on collaboration.  The P.O. works hard to connect the client to needed services that are available in the community, forging a connection to that place.

SUPERVISION MODEL STARTS WITH THE COURT’S DECISIONS

The strategy is that the Probation Officer meets with clients on a regular basis and may have additional meetings as situations arise.
When a person is brought into court, the court sets conditions for the clients to abide by, and sets goals for the client to work toward, based on areas of risk and needs.  The clients will have as much help to meet these needs as the Probation Officer can offer. The P.O.s monitor their client’s progress toward goals to make sure they are getting results that  fit the client and are producing agreed upon changes.  P.O.s use evidence-based practices to assist clients who are working on conditions.  Regular communication is a practice that strengthens the clients in the program. 

As neighborhood agents, P.O.s  use home visits as an important part of the procedure so they are assured that the client is in a place that can support progress. “Meeting them where they’re at” is the expectation.  

SUPERVISION IN 2020 – THERE ARE SOME CHANGES

Holly’s case numbers are about the same as before 2020.  

Client-meeting needs still use the model defined in 1997.   Probation Officers have been out in the field (Second Precinct) since early April, meeting clients on their own turf, but most important, to better learn the needs of each client.   P.O.s still make a lot of phone calls, but Ms Ihrke feels that meeting her clients in their neighborhoods is far better than asking them to come into the office.  For some clients, travel to an office is difficult.  Additionally, when they are in their neighborhood, they’re in a place they know. 

Again, using the 1997 model, the higher the need, the more frequent the meetings.

Court appearances have not changed much for clients.   A warrant is issued; the client is arrested; the case has a hearing; the Court imposes a sanction.    Ms Ihrke has found that if a client has committed a violation, it’s necessary to articulate the consequence of that violation which the client may not have remembered.  If a client is acting in a manner that is threatening, the court will address it.

Clients used to receive conditional release which began with a jail term and led to a gradual, strictly supervised return of the offender to the community.   Now clients tend to get furloughed to a treatment program with supervision.   Another change is the use of Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM) which is helping keep clients accountable when they are out in the community.
[EQ: In late 2019 Governor Walz and Missouri Governor Mike Parson wrote a bipartisan article about the need for uniformity and improved practices in probation guidelines.  The Time Magazine article was cited in a Star Tribune story: https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-s-probation-system-should-be-reformed/566521872/ ]

QUESTION:   What services work to reduce recidivism?Answer:  Employment is known to reduce recidivism.   Chemical dependency programs are very important.
QUESTION: What challenges do your clients face:  can neighborhoods do something? 
A Northeast has substance abuse programs.  Let people know about them. Q  Do your clients live in tents or do they have roofs?

A.  The N.P.O. has a staff member who offers housing, but the clients must agree to move to the other place.  Ultimately, they are in charge of their own progress.A-2:  Rashid offered the info that The Parkboard requires a permit to camp  and he doesn’t know if the MPRB looks at probation orders for camping permits
Q How do you get the input from the community?A. Holly attends neighborhood association meetings across the Eastside.   She visits store owners and other business people in the 2nd Pct also.  She attends 2-PAC  Her contact info is Holly.Ihrke@hennepin.us   ph 612.386.5278 
A-2 Nick interjected that in a low numbers NE neighborhood, neighbors were reporting a problem house.   The place was run down but some behaviors looked like drug use.   When it was investigated, officers found that some of the residents were on probation, so they were not in an environment that met the terms of their probation.    The bottom line was that reporting the house was a good thing for residents and neighbors of this house.    It got shut down and the probationers are now in housing that better supports their growth. 
Q Probation used to have a volunteer arm.    It delivered food and supplies, and worked as outreach.  What happened to it?A: It was in place until George Floyd died. Hopefully that will be restarted.Q: Are many of your clients, parents?   What happens to the children?
A: Plenty of clients are parents.   Many use People Serving People in Downtown Mpls. 

UTube recording is here:

Sept. report, part 2: Courtwatch and Precinct reports

COURTWATCH, Nnamdi Okoronkwo, Minneapolis City Attorney presenting.
UPDATES

  • Kelli Durow (aka Tamera Hoveland) 39 city contacts since 2017, 38 in the Second Pct. Habitual trespassing on or near U of MN.  “Rule 20 Return*” for 8 charges. Further charge 4th degree assault. Now has a Bench Warrant and is on Sign and Release.**
  • Samuel Hasse out of custody.  Has a 10/22 pretrial for 5th degree assault, theft, 4th degree damage to property, tamper vehicle, disorderly conduct.  4 citations were closed and dismissed on 8/13 (for disorderly conduct, trespassing (2), 3rd degree burglary)  Veterans’ Court ordered him to complete treatment for three other citations on 8/17. Review hearing on 9/14.
  • Daniel Heacock – Did not appear for his  08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct.  He now has an active Bench Warrant.  Heacock has been found incompetent in the past.
  • Kirk Robledo was discharged from Hennepin County Probation and released to Ramsey County Probation.
  • Michael Zaccardi was released before our July meeting but committed 5th degree assault on 7/13.  His pretrial is scheduled for 10/1.

AWAITING A HEARING

  • Richard  Breen – May, 2020: Richard Breen is out of custody and waiting for a Pretrial, which has been scheduled to 9/30/20 (Restorative Court)
  • Cody Horton has a review hearing (MHC) on 9/24, rescheduled from 8/13 .
  • Christian Klockeman is a repeat trespasser around U of M and has a Felony threat of violence charge 11/11/19.  Hearing on 6 charges was rescheduled for 9/22 (from 7/14/20)
  • Joshua Poplawski was released from the workhouse on 10/30/19.  He had received multiple trespass citations from 11/7/19, mostly in the U of MN area and received a Trespass Violate citation on 2/4/20.  On 12/22/19 a business at 9XX Washington Ave. reported a new trespass; under Rule of 6 (probation violation) he was booked in HCJ; his pretrials and arraignments were  pushed back to 10/1 and 12/9
  • Leslie Wade There were no updates on his hearing on 9/30 for three trespass charges.  He also has a 9/17 hearing in Robbinsdale for Diso. Conduct and a 10/8  hearing, also in Robbinsdale for 4th degree property damage.

NO UPDATES

  • Tanner DeWitt: Convicted of felony receiving stolen property  8/18/19; convicted of receiving stolen property on 9/26/19.  Dept of Correction,  release 9/8/20, probation to 2/5/21.
  • Johnny Hall — amended sentence   07/08/20 to serve 30 days, credit 2 days, serve as EHM — i.e. Electronic Home Monitoring.
  • Paula Heile remains on probation until 7/12/21. No further updates.
  • Miles Shaw was released from DOC on  4/27/20 and will be on parole to 9/25/20.
  • *Rule  20:  Per www.MNCourts.gov:  Rule 20 evaluations occur in criminal cases when there is a belief that a defendant may not be competent to proceed with the case or was not responsible at the time of the alleged offense because of mental illness or developmental disability. [applies to Durow’s situation]
  • **Sign and Release:  Per HCDC Pretrial Detention Reduction document (April, 2020)
  • “Sign-and-Release In 2016, the City of Minneapolis began a Sign-and-Release warrant program for people charged with a misdemeanor by mailed summons but who did not appear in for their court hearing. In these cases, the court is not positive the summons reached the person, so when law enforcement next connects with the person, they are given a date to appear in court. Soon, this program was rolled out to the entire county. After two-and-a-half years of this program, 66% of the people given a new date appeared for court.”

City Attorney Nnamdi Okoronkwo searched the lists over the weekend.  The cases in court now are those dealing with people who hurt people.  Those cases are not eligible for Courtwatch.  Our list will remain the same until the backlog has worked down to livability cases that are handled through Specialty Court assignments. 

CPS Juarez said that Lionel Timms was arrested and charged with assault in the Nicollet Island neighborhood.    This was done in broad daylight, with plenty of witnesses.  The victim is a person who works in the area.   Would the court be interested in impact statements?   Mr. Okoronkwo said he’d check and get back to Nick.  Nick continued that the Nicollet Island Neighborhood Assn, and the local Business Association would be two good places to request statements.  He added that this is another good example of neighbors stepping up to help officers make this arrest.   Neighbors kept eyes on the suspect and were able to ID him to officers at a bus stop.  

Question:  A person on the U campus sees Poplawski on campus almost every day.  Does he have a stable home or is he homeless?  Most of his crimes are trespassing or livability crimes.

CPS Juarez:  He’s currently homeless.  He is generally passive but has gotten aggressive with some of the building managers.

Okoronkwo:  I charge a lot of these cases.   If we don’t have the ability to hold someone,  or even put them into a program, it’s hard to handle them.   Poplawski was part of the “Downtown 100”, a program that was started 10 years ago as part of the Downtown Improvement Program.  The goal was to I.D. chronic offenders — people who continue to commit livability offenses.   The Probation Officer down there did some intense monitoring, working hard to find housing, to help with addictions.  The goals included reducing social services and police calls to the area and to make the streets Downtown feel safer. 

The program is still running but given the pandemic, it’s more difficult to hold people.  Trespass is a gross misdemeanor if you accumulate a number of charges, so the lawyers can ask for a longer term, like 90 days or more, time needed  for a person to get some benefit from a program.  Holly Ihrke pointed out that if they can be sentenced to the workhouse, they can get the full chemical dependency treatment, but it takes 180 days to get through the whole process.
STATE OF THE PRECINCT:
Emilie spotted a list of crimes in the Star Tribune — a list of nine incidents in Marcy Holmes over a very short time.  There was also a list on the SafeU alert,

Inspector Loining said that patrols have been stepped up, in coordination with the UMPD.  He made the point that these incidents are not random.   These people search the area looking for victims.   There’s nothing “random” about which person they choose.   It’s going to be the one they’re sure they can assault/rob/carjack or whatever–easier targets.  There is always an uptick of crime when students return to campus but this is unusually large, triggered partly by the pandemic, by the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, and more.  

MPD staffing has been in the news. So far, the Second Precinct has remained stable.   The numbers go up and down but not by much. The Second Precinct officers are making sure they are a strong presence, throughout the Precinct. 

The Second Precinct is pushing crime prevention and personal safety tactics.    Walk in numbers on well-lit streets.   Put your phone away, but know how to call 911 on it. 

CPS Nick Juarez added that the MPD needs the community to be the eyes and ears for the police.  Report suspicious behavior, always. 

Don’t think that the robberies in Marcy Holmes and in NE are random — they are planned!   These are bad people who have a plan of action.   They spot a target, go into the action they’ve planned, and quickly head for the car with a confederate behind the wheel, waiting for them near an exit route like Lowry or East Hennepin. These robberies are over in less than 3 minutes.
It’s important for us to plan also.  As soon as you I.D. a potential threat, you must be prepared to act!  Carry a flashlight or a personal alarm (130-140 decibels, from Dick’s Sporting Goods or online).  Be prepared to create a distraction. They surprised you so you want to surprise them back. In a couple of incidents the victim screamed and others came to assist her and scared the robbers away.  Drawing attention to yourself can be helpful.

One very important thing:  if you believe you are being followed, call 911 immediately — don’t wait and hope you’re wrong.  You can tell 911 there have been robberies in your neighborhood and you think you might be a target. Do you know what button you have to push on your phone to call 911 — find out!

“This is a real life threat.  There are bad guys out there right now, committing robberies.   You have to be aware of that, and you have to have a plan when you go out.”
QQ:  What’s happening in the rest of the Precinct?Inspector Loining:  The Second Precinct is a beautiful place to live and work, we all know that.   But we are busy!   There is a reason we’re employed.  He listed a few other spots that need close attention.  Check the crime maps FFI
QQ: Parties as students are coming back.   At what point do we get to call the police or 911 or someone about social distancing!   Parties are afternoons, early evenings, this isn’t a noise issue.  It’s a public health issue.
Inspector Loining:  So far, what the CPS’s and officers can do is remind and inform.   MPD is working with UMPD, with the Greek Council and with others to inform and re-inform.   Unless they get a direct order, the MPD can’t issue a citation. 

QQ:  What can we in SE Como and other places do to raise awareness in young people.   “Don’t do dumb things” is a difficult lesson to teach. 

Inspector Loining related that, working with the Greek Council on crime prevention, he had to say that if someone has had too much to drink or whatever, don’t just put them out on the sidewalk.  Send someone with them.   Take them home. Take care of them. Keep them safe. 

Nick added that he doesn’t want people to think that he or the Inspector think the people who get robbed are just “not aware” — Some of the people who’ve been assaulted have just gotten out of an Uber.  A couple of victims were carrying groceries from the car into the house.   These are times you might want to take an extra second to look around, see if anyone is watching you.  If you’re in your vehicle, the doors should be locked.  Sitting around and waiting for someone with the radio on?  Lock your car doors.
Finally, Nick pointed out that last year at this time, the Second Precinct was very busy with much more serious crime including a murder.  It has eased back from that level.

This year, there is a lot going on in social media: some of it is correct, some is misleading and some is false.   That’s why the MPD puts out alerts and announcements — to lay out what’s true.

Emilie:  Last year, I joined Nick and Rashid on a safety walk around Van Cleve Park.  They provided me with handouts to use as an introduction, and I watched as they approached the first people we met on our walk.  Then I followed their lead.  I strongly encourage people who are concerned about their neighborhood, to ask for a safety walk and join it.   You will learn a lot, and frankly, it was fun!

Last question about the tent city in Logan Park.   A neighbor is concerned about safety in her neighborhood and her park with all the campers there.   Rashid replied that he and Luther Kreuger are aware of resident concerns.   They are keeping track of incidents, which so far include overdoses, some reports of violence and other issues.  Unfortunately this is not a MPD project.   It’s under the purview of the Park Board Police.   They have set up a site that explains how the encampment came to exist, who authorized it, whom to call with concerns.  BUT, the MPD is still supporting you, the residents.  If you see suspicious activity, we still want you to call 911!  MPD wants to know about it.

QQ: is 911 going to go to MPRBPD or MPD?
Rashid:  it depends on what it is and where it is, but we want to know about it.   Something that is park-related will be answered by MPRBPD.   If it’s criminal activity MPD will respond. 

One place to see how criminal activity  is rising near or away from parks is to use the interactive crime maps, which you can find here:  https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=576634548ffc4304bf9df0fb2b802f8d
RAIDSonline.com holds stats for cities across the U.S.  For Minneapolis RAIDS  takes you to the dashboard that includes the above map, plus 5 other search categories: new crime statistics, stop statistics, use of force, shots fired, officer involved shooting.  check http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/police/statistics/
Emilie Quast, Board memberMPD Second Precinct Advisory CommitteeMinneapolis MN 55418