March 2-PAC Report, part 1

The meeting was called to order at 6:15, 21 attenders.
Our speaker was City Council Member Steve Fletcher, who among many other responsibilities, is one member of an ongoing team working to calm late nights in the North Loop.
In 2007,  just  12 years ago, officials  extended bar closing one hour intending to spread out the exit times for crowds which  was expected to calm the streets.  That hour  produced a surprising amount of tax revenue and business profits as people chose to extend the evening rather than fighting traffic to head for home.  The extra hour began attracting trouble, though, and the question soon became how to calm the streets and make the North Loop a fun and safe place to spend an evening  for event and  convention attenders from the cities, from the suburbs, and from other places.    CM Fletcher came to 2-PAC to tell us who is on the planning team for the North Loop and how the the plans are working.
First of all, Downtown has changed.   In 2007, about 1000 people lived in the area and  there was very little going on after bar closing.  Today, the number  of residents is 50,000 and still climbing, and there’s a lot of activity.  Times and the neighborhood have changed and public services have to change with them.
Early attempts to calm the area focused on getting people out of there by 2AM.  Another attempt involved closing 1st Avenue North  (sort of an open  streets) to keep street activity in a smaller area.  Neither of those proposals worked very well.
When City Council members, the Downtown Council, the Downtown Business Association, the Police Dept,  and other stake holders really analyzed the area, they saw a small area, packed with people who didn’t want to go home, with little organized activity, and not much more.
Closing a street (1st Ave. No.) hadn’t worked.  When the avenue was opened again, it  freed up police officers to assist the people in the area rather than just keeping people packed  in a area.   A few food trucks were allowed in, and people had a little more to do; restaurant owners discovered that rather than cutting into restaurant trade, the food trucks actually attracted customers to the area and sit-down places benefited.  Now the North Loop is the site of more planned activities and regular attractions.
The proximity of shelters for the homeless near the theater district was a badly-handled situation for a long time.  St. Stephens Shelter and the Downtown Council increased outreach to the people who needed a safer place to be.
Adding to the mix were planners from the Downtown Ambassadors, a gang task force and an addiction task force.  People on parole, who have agreed to stay away from situations that late night streets offer, are watched for.   Then there is the MadDads, well-known peace-makers.  As civilians, MadDads can wade into a tense situation and diffuse it, without triggering the response that uniformed police might set off.
In CM Fletcher’s view, two factors are the keys to successful streets management:  collaboration and communication.
Collaboration is evident from the number of diverse organizations working on this project.
Increased communication at every level is what keeps success building.  Communication starts with joint  stake-holder discussions but extends to smaller efforts like communication between  individual security posts:  One guard may spot a person getting too excited and warn the next venue down the street to watch for that person or  or a “energetic” group, heading that way.
Most important, the focus of planning  has moved  from controlling the crowds to creating positive activities that are safe and fun.    Newspapers are key players getting positive activities announced.   Whatsapp  is another tool.
Still being addressed is the question of alcohol and 18-21 year old people.    Clubs that don’t do well at controlling underage drinking are having their licenses looked at.  The city is asking the State Legislature for more power to shut down bars that can’t keep alcohol away from underage people.
Crimes levels in the area are going down, violent crimes down by 1/3 and property crimes down by 1/2.
Another need to be addressed soon: folks need increased public transit in the area at closing time so they can easily get home.
Question:  do we have enough resources to do all that work:  Answer: Yes.  The question is, are we using our resources efficiently.


Feb. 11 notes: Crisis Intervention Training

The meeting was called to order at 6:15 by Emilie Quast.  We were 16 attenders.
Inspector Loining requested a change in the agenda and spoke first.
PRECINCT REPORT: The Second Precinct experienced four part 1 crimes in just a few days.  The murder of a mother and daughter at the 320 – 2nd Ave SE in Marcy-Holmes happened on Saturday;  by Monday, the Inspector could not yet release any information.  Since then, a suspect who was a neighbor has been arrested and charged.
There was a report of “shots fired” in near 3300 Pierce Street NE  on Feb. 10   One person was shot in the legs.
Two assaults were committed in Marcy Holmes:  The first, near the 8th St. market happened on Feb.8 at 6:15 AM.  The target succeeded in getting away from the assailant.  See MN Daily story   The second was on Feb 9 at a social event.
[LATE NOTE 2-19: Marcy-Holmes:  Shots fired on Saturday, 2-16 near Amy Klobuchar’s house –brief story in the MN Daily]
Despite that bad news, the greatest problems in the Second Precinct remains property crimes.   Now that the cold weather has set in, people are keeping their windows secure, but there are still too many reports of auto thefts,  theft from cars, unsecured garages, and single family dwellings, in NE and SE but especially in Audubon and Waite Park.   The majority of the houses in NE that have been burgled have been forced entry, so people are locking up which does cut down on the number of burglaries.  Top days for this are Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays, most from 3-9PM.  Police need continuing neighborhood cooperation to stop these crimes: if you see something, say something.
Officers made 2 arrests in SE  including one that was a result of a stop of suspicious vehicle  (narcotics discovered in the vehicle).
Nick Juarez reported on Secure Net Program for homes   (caution, this is NOT securenetsystems) and discussed increasing camera surveillance in the Central Avenue and other 2nd Precinct business districts.
SPEAKER: Our speaker this month was Mark Anderson, Director of the Barbara Schneider Foundation.   The BSF is one of the agencies that is working to increase the likelihood of productive encounters between persons in crisis and first responders.  The goal is to improve the safety of all who are involved in a situation, and to increase community networking.    The way to achieve this is through education of the responders so they can begin to understand what is happening in the target’s mind to better redirect counter-productive  behavior.
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training is a collaboration between first responders, mental health and community advocates.  The program involves police training that leads to improvements in mental health response.  MPD was the first police department in Minnesota to adopt CIT in a partnership with the Barbara Schneider Foundation, back in 2000.  Since then, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office also adopted CIT training for their corrections officers.  Some HC road officers have also taken the training.
The program uses trained actors to present situations. Trainers then lead teams through de-escalation steps, as needed.   Fundamental to the training is the knowledge that a person in severe crisis may not be able to process  officers’ requests.  If they can’t process a request, they are not able to comply with it.  It is now understood that many “standard procedures” commonly taught to first responders do not solve a confrontation, but actually escalate it.
There’s a great deal of information about the CIT program on the Barbara Schneider Foundation home page, at
One additional note:  In response to an e-mail comment by me a few days later, Mr. Anderson said that the Foundation does day-long training sessions for community members who want to learn de-escalation.  They take it at a slightly slower pace, presenting over an entire day.  The program for community groups is the same curriculum as CIT for first responders.
Mr. Anderson left us with a wallet size foldover that people might find useful.  It includes 19 key concepts for responders, 11 suggestions for improving responder safety (called “Officer” safety but many suggestions will improve the situation for any responder), a long list of contact numbers for backup and help.  If you are interested in having a copy, contact Emilie Quast at and I’ll see you get a copy, either paper or as an email attachment.
COURTWATCH:  Neither attorney could make it to the February meeting with updates for the people on our Courtwatch list.  As it happens many are either  waiting for their court date or are meeting the terms of their probation.  Court dates start to pick up in mid-February so we will have news in March.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:15PM.

January 14 meeting notes

The meeting was called to order at 6:15 by Emilie Quast;  19 people attending.
FIRST EVENT:   the Precinct staff brought in fresh, hot sambusas staring the year off with a treat.  Thank you very much!
AGENDA:  The 12-24 buffet report.  Our in-person attendance is inching toward  200 people, but we receive enough food for well over 250.  Last year’s  trial delivery service to staff and police who are not able to leave their stations during their shifts went well.  The 1st Precinct especially needs this service for the 911 staff which works in the same building.  Jesse Vega and Roger Kiemele made 3 delivery runs during their shift, letting people on duty at the 1st, 3rd and 4th Precincts know they are not forgotten.  When  the 12-25 team came in to do a final wipe down of the kitchen and dining area, they found a few cold salads and some cookies and pastries.  Those were gone by the 26th.  So:  our donors were very generous and the food was enjoyed!  Thank you all for giving time and talent so generously!  A printed Thank You appeared in the Northeaster, January 9.
A last minute change left us with no scheduled speaker, but since we have not had an organized request for topics in several years, that activity took our speaker’s intended slot.  If others would like to add their voices, the questions were:  What police issues would you like to report on your block?  In your neighborhood?  In the Second Precinct?  In the city?  What livability issues would you like to report on your block?  In your neighborhood?  In the Second Precinct?  In the city?
Don’t know what to say?  Here’s some inspiration:  traffic issues,  violent crime reports need closure, suspected drug traffic or use, burglary, theft from autos.  If you are concerned about a topic, be sure to indicate the area where you’ve spotted activity.  You don’t need a specific address, but naming (for example) “10th and University SE”  is very helpful.
COURTWATCH:  This was the first Courtwatch with our new attorneys, Sandra Filardo from the Hennepin Country Attorney’s Office and Kerri Kovalesky from the Minneapolis Attorney’s Office.
Ronald Bailey was acquitted on 12/10 of 2nd degree murder due to mental illness and was civilly committed; a judge will determine in mid-February what will happen next based on his evaluations during his commitment.  Natalie Box is in custody waiting for jury trial on 4/29 for two 1st degree Agg. Robberies and 1st degree assault in 10/18; at the same trial, she will also be facing a charge of  3rd degree arson in 2017, in the 5th Pct.  Jonell Butler was Natalie Box’s partner in the robberies and the assault; he had a 1/14 trial scheduled but asked for a continuance to May.  Butler had a 9-18 1st degree assault in the 4th scheduled with his 1-14 trial date.   Samuel Haase was charged with 4 crimes, all in Marcy Holmes: Possession of burglary tools, two damage to property charges, 5th degree assault; he was convicted on 9/17/18 and given 365 days (355 days stayed two years) and probation to 9-17-19, but stole a bike  a month after his conviction and failed to appear; a bench warrant was issued on 1-10-19.   Daniel Heacock was found incompetent at his November hearing (rule 2001 requires the defendant be able to identify why he is in court , among other things); the case will  be reviewed in May, 2019 (he is not in custody because he is not considered a danger to himself or others).  Cody Horton was convicted on 11-19-18 of reckless discharge of a firearm in the city; he got a stay of imposition and will be on probation until 11-19-21; Horton is now under the supervision of the Mental Health Specialty Courts Probation Office which requires much  closer supervision (and the success rate is very good).   Joshua Poplawski was in custody  waiting for his 1/15 Review Hearing on two trespass citations in the University area (one while carrying drug paraphanalia), and a 4th degree Burglary in the 3rd precinct.  James Zaccardi pled guilty on 1/9  for 5th degree drug possession in St. Anthony and was scheduled to have a hearing in Mental Health Specialty Court on 1/15.  Michael Zaccardi  has a jury trial scheduled on 2/11/19 for 3rd degree assault.
Maxim Chance is meeting his probation requirements; probation runs to 4/18/19. Johnny Hall is meeting his probation instruction; probation runs to 9-17-20.   Paula Heille is successfully working through her probation requirements for her 5th degree drug case and will remain on probation through 7/12/21.  Mahad Ismail  remains on probation to 7/29/19.  Robert Schroeder remains on probation to 3/20/19.
Brian Holmes completed his probation on 11/16/18.  Curtis Laroque completed probation on 11/04/18.  Both Holmes and Laroque were removed from the Courtwatch list.
One person was proposed to be added to the list, but info about his charges didn’t make it to me to be included here.  We’ll hear more in February.
PRECINCT REPORT: Lt. Christie Nelson reported:
First report was of an Assault-4, which is against a police officer.  The man was arrested with no force issues but in transport, he began to spit all over the partition of the car.  This was the second assault this person committed in 6 months — the case was just reported and had not been assigned at the time of this meeting.
Two incidents in the 2nd Precinct were assigned to the 1st for investigation.  One was an armed robbery (suspect escaped and was not found by K-9).  The other was an assault 3 that happened at a party, and the victim knows the person who did the assault.
Weapons search in SE at Glendale Housing complex turned up guns and narcotics.
Burglaries of dwellings and businesses:  NE Buchanan: a garage door was pried open and  the car was riffled.  Another burglary on 12th NE: no sign of forced entry but this dwelling had a surveillance device and that was inventoried for possible evidence.  Burglary of garage on Monroe, vehicles inside were broken into.
In the SE sector, the new grocery and tobacco shop at 15th and Como the owner arrived and found employees had left the door unlocked, some things missing. The crime lab did find some prints so that is assigned for investigation.   Burglary on 23rd SE; the door is usually locked but the owner found it unlocked, with no signs of forcing–some coins were missing from a glass jar.   9xx 19th Ave SE reported an attempted entry but no one got in.     3xx – 18th Ave SE, a resident saw the suspect and asked him to leave, and then noticed a play station was missing.
The Second Pct expects there will be an uptick in burglary reports this month because students were out for winter break.  The Precinct did add extra patrols in SE Como and Marcy -Holmes for that reason.
3 auto thefts 2 in NE and 1 in SE / one recovered.
CPS Juarez outlined an update on the drug house on Madison St. NE.  A search warrant  uncovered some illegal drugs and one person was charged with 5th degree drug possession.  The Henn. Cty complaint has been signed.  Suspicious traffic has decreased but there still is some of that; squads are still watching the site and officers are supposed to take action if they see activity.
Officer Nelson responded to a question about unusual helicopter activity over NE Minneapolis.  There had been an assault and the suspect fled in a car — the helicopter was looking for the car.  As it turned out, two incidents happened at the same time and both suspects fled in separate cars.  One suspect was picked up by Ramsey County and the other was stopped near Clearwater, MN (near St. Cloud)  The helicopter stayed aloft, searching until officers on the ground sorted out the two incidents and learned that both suspects were now in different jurisdictions.

Sept. 2-PAC meeting report: NuWay

The meeting was called to order at 6:15 by chair, Larry Ranallo.  25 attenders.

Since 1966, NUWAY, a nonprofit organization, has provided community based extended-care for people in recovery from substance use and mental health disorders.    3Rs NUWAY Counseling Center is now open at 1404 Central Ave NE. (Recognition, Rehabilitation, Recovery = 3Rs.)  NUWAY has two other outpatient facilities: one in South Minneapolis and one in St. Paul.  Additionally, there are two residential treatment centers located in South Minneapolis.

Our presenters were Monique Bourgeois (Chief Community Relations Officer), Jason Cintorino (3R’s Program Director), and Jake Lewis (Community Relations Manager)

To receive treatment from NUWAY, a person must have a substance use disorder.  Many clients also have a co-occurring mental health disorder, but that is not required for admission to the program.

NUWAY offers two treatment models: Outpatient and Inpatient.   Both models draw on clinical care and community resources to support clients’ path to good health.

The OUTPATIENT MODEL is called R.I.S.E. (Recovery in Supportive Environments)

NUWAY works with over 65 providers of stable, supportive recovery residences throughout the Twin Cities. Unlike the 28-day treatment model available elsewhere, NUWAY clients stay in the program as long as they need it; the average treatment length is 83 days in NUWAY’s outpatient programs. A client’s program is individualized–there is no single prescriptive model.  In addition to offering access to supportive housing in the community, a client in this program receives:

  • Twenty hours of licensed co-occurring treatment per week including group and individual sessions
  • One meal during each day of service
  • Transportation assistance
  • No-cost drug testing
  • Peer support
  • Care coordination
  • Family support
  • Recovery management skills
  • Evidence based modalities

The program tries to offer what’s needed, including help finding a job, arts therapies, whatever seems appropriate.

The RESIDENTIAL MODEL.  NUWAY was the first organization in the U.S. to offer the Co-Occurring Disorders program, which was created in a jointly by Dartmouth Medical School and the Hazelden Foundation.   This program offers an extended care program in a medium-intensity residential environment for men and transgender individuals. Like the Outpatient model, a client’s length of stay depends on his or her clinical needs.  Features of this program include:

  • Group and individual counseling
  • Individualized length of stay
  • Recovery management skills
  • Independent living skills
  • Connection to community resources for additional needs
  • On-site nursing.

Throughout its five programs, NUWAY is working with 750 clients every day.  The clinic on Central Ave NE meets with some 200 people a day.

The major difference between NUWAY and other models is that NUWAY treats addiction disorders and addition-related disorders as modern medicine treats other chronic disorders.  It’s recognized that people’s bodies are different and respond to treatment differently. The treatment of diabetes or heart disease is likely to start with a baseline approach. Health care professionals expect that the initial treatment plan will be modified as the patient’s body adjusts to medication, ages, finds a treatment plateau, but perhaps succumbs to new stressors.  The NUWAY treatment plan follows these expectations.  NUWAY keeps trying new modes and adjusting treatments until they find something that clicks.

Clients are referred to NUWAY from various entities including hospital and social services, and notices like this report.

For more detailed information about this program, including contact information, go to

Individuals attending NUWAY are funded through public services money and health insurance.  NuWay is in-network with health care providers including Medica, HealthPartners, UCare, Preferred One, United Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Signa, Optum, and Hennepin Health.

PRECINCT REPORT: Inspector Todd Loining

University and college students have started their first semester.  Predictably crime is on an uptick including burglary of residence, theft from motor vehicle (please clean out your car and lock it), theft of cars, bikes, mopeds.  This year, so far, there has not been much of an increase in robbery.

In coordination with the UMPD, the Second Precinct is doing saturation details every Friday and Saturday, in SE.  MTPD is presenting a strong presence in Stadium Village and along the Greenline.  Portable cameras are deployed in hotspots.

The Second Precinct is attending community meetings, door-knocking and distributing flyers.   We’re holding tent events to say welcome, pass out trail mix, coffee and crime prevention tip sheets.

Successes:  5 burglars arrested, 6 other people arrested in a stolen vehicle, 2 stolen vehicles were recovered, one person was arrested for carrying burglary tools while attempting to steal a bike.

COURTWATCH:  Judi Cole (H.C.Atty.) and Sarah Becker (Mpls.Atty.) reporting:

Updates:  Ronald Bailey, had a 9-13 hearing and is waiting for his 11-26 trial for 2nd degree murder.  Johnny Hall has a 9-17 jury trial for 5th degree drug possession.  Daniel Heacock is waiting for his next 6-month evaluation on 11-13 but was committed on 5-18-18.  Cody Horton pled guilty for reckless discharge of a firearm (into a neighbor’s house) and was sentenced on 8-27; he’s waiting for a 9-24 motion hearing on a 1st degree burglary of dwelling.  Dwayne Miles is waiting for a jury trial on 10-01.  Joshua Poplawski is in HOMES court; may move to 24-hour care.  Robert Schroeder’s case was continued to 10-30 (no reason known).  Alfonso Seals remains in custody in Ramsey County Jail; he also has cases pending in Hennepin and Dakota Counties.  James Zaccardi has a 9-26 omnibus hearing on 5th degree drug possession.  Michael Zaccardi is in custody until 11-22; on 9-17 he’ll have an omnibus hearing on 3rd degree assault.

No updates:  Maxim Chance.  Paula Heille was convicted on 7-12 and will be on probation for 3 years.  Bryan Holmes remains on probation until 11-16.  Mahad Ismail, no update.    Curtis Laroque remains on probation through 11-04.

Samuel Haase was added to the Courtwatch list.

REPORTS FROM NEIGHBORS.  We had several brief reports and one extensive report from neighbors about concerning events in the Precinct.  EQ:  I’m not clear on how much to reveal about these reports, but will organize some guidelines for public reporting in coming weeks.

COMING IN OCTOBER:  911 calls and emergency response.  Our speaker will outline what happens when we call, and explain how the system works.

Nov. 2-PAC meeting report: 311 calls

The meeting was called to order at 6:17 by Emilie Quast.  16 attendees.

Our speaker was Kimberly Simmonds from  Minneapolis 311.

Minneapolis 311 is the “single point of contact” for the City of Minneapolis.  People can contact 311 by phone, computer, or through the mobile app for information about local government and services, and to be directly connected  to the service provider that can correctly respond to a caller’s inquiry or need.

The program took its first calls on January 4, 2006.  It was originally a Monday-Friday service, 7AM to 11 PM.  That first year, 311 received more than 343,000 calls and more than 14,000 emails.  It entered over 61,000 service requests that year.  In July of 2012, 311 launched a mobile app, which can identify a customer’s exact location, necessary for service requests requiring a specific location. Between July 2012 and October 2015, almost 27,000 cases were sent through the mobile app.

2016 was the 10th anniversary of Minneapolis 311.  That year, 311 reached 3.9 million calls answered.  The service is still growing.  In the first 10 months of 2018,  311 received more than 10,000 mobile cases, 16,000 emails, and over 260,000 phone calls.

Contact this service by dialing 311 if your phone carrier allows or 612.673.3000.  The email address is  and a mobile app can be downloaded for Androids, iPhones, and Blackberrys.

This year, 311 has launched a texting service. When a customer texts 311, they are texting a knowledge base of information.  The system works well if you can reduce your question to 1 or 2 key terms. This is actually the database 311 operators use when they are searching for information to answer your call.  If you text a query that is too complicated, the system will tell you to call 311 or download the mobile app, because the question you are asking may be too complicated for the system to process.  Thus, “My car is lost.  Where can I find if my car has been towed” probably won’t work.  “Impound lot”  or “towed car” will.  You  may get a link to a search engine that will take you to the area on the City website that has the information you need.  At the end, you may be asked to fill out a survey; the answers will be used to figure out how well the system is actually working so we can figure out what needs to be improved.

Minneapolis 311 can help with most NON-emergency questions and calls for service.  If the operator decides you need an emergency response, they’ll direct you to Minneapolis Police and Fire Dispatch.

311  has contracted with CLI, Certified Languages International, which can translate some 227 languages. The system also has a computer based TTY service for people with hearing impairment or oral communication disorders.

The six most common requests are 1) Impound Lot vehicle lookup, 2) Parking complaints, 3) Questions for recycling and solid waste services, 4) Snow and Ice complaints, 5) Non-emergency police reports, 6) Pothole complaints.

There is a long list of departments that 311 assists.  [EQ: see attachments at the end of this report]   Our 311 agents can, in some instances, help the caller by answering their question immediately. In some instances, we transfer the caller to the resolving department.   In most cases, we will enter a service request for the caller to have the resolving department follow up with them.

QUESTION: CAN THE CITY CALL MY CELL PHONE TO LET ME KNOW OF SNOW EMERGENCIES? OR TO ADVISE ME OF STREET SWEEPING IN MY AREA? ANSWER: If you have a landline or mobile phone, the city can call you to notify you of Snow Emergencies because the Snow Emergency rules are the same across the city and take place at the same time. At this time, the City cannot call your cell phone to notify you of street sweeping in your area. The City will call your landline phone to advise you of street sweeping because it is attached to your physical address. The technology does not yet exist for the City to be able to call your cell phone for street sweeping.

To sign up for phone, text, or email alerts, please visit to sign up.

QUESTION:  WHAT IF YOU CALL THE WRONG SERVICE?  ANSWER: If 311 deems your call to be an emergency and you are in the City of Minneapolis, we will connect you with Minneapolis Police and Fire Dispatch. If it is an emergency, but the caller is not in Minneapolis, we ask that the caller hang up and dial 911. If the caller requests or reports something that should go to Metro Transit, we can provide the phone number to Metro Transit or transfer the caller over to Metro Transit customer service. Finally, if a caller has a non-emergency request for another city, we will try our best to find the main contact number for that city and provide it the customer or transfer them over.

QUESTION:  WHAT IS THE TIME LIMIT FOR SNOW SHOVELING?  ANSWER: Single family homes and duplexes have 24 hours from the end of snowfall to shovel their walks. Apartments, commercial buildings and all other properties have four daytime hours to remove the snow (daytime hours start at 8am after the end of snowfall). If snow hasn’t been removed after that time has gone by, you can call 311 at that point.  We’re changing  the procedure this year:  Instead of us going out and looking, we’re automatically sending the owner a letter to let them know they are in violation.  Then, after 3 days the inspector goes out.  If the walk isn’t shoveled we authorize someone to clear it and the owner gets charged. This will take seven days off the process.

QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FOR REPORTING EMERGENCIES LIKE WATER MAIN BREAKS AND THOSE PROBLEMS THAT MIGHT NOT BE AN EMERGENCY, LIKE POTHOLES?  Answer:  We use scripting in a system called Lagan to help us determine what should be called over to a department right after we enter a case. In the case of a water main break, we take as much information as the caller has, enter a case in with all of the pertinent details, and then we call the water department to let them know there’s been a break so that they can get someone out there right away. For potholes, 311 enters in a case for Public Works, and those cases are sent over to the resolving department. Potholes are repaired area by area for greatest efficiency.

QUESTION: IF A STREET HAS NO BOULEVARDS, IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR A HOMEWONER TO KEEP THAT ICE MOUND OFF.  Answer:  Call 311 to let us know what is going on. In most cases, we can enter in a case for our street department or our sidewalk department and let them know that the piled snow from plowing is causing accessibility issues.

One follow up question by EQ.  After I got home and started to celebrate the new procedure for getting walks cleared 7 (!) days quicker, it occurred to me that this would be good for tall weed control also.  I wrote Ms Simmonds, and asked, even though I know that have not had a chance to try out the new procedure on snow removal yet.  She replied very promptly that she had sent my suggestion to housing inspections. (Reference number is 4266088).  So we will see how this new program speeds up snow removal.  If it works better, we have a handle to speed up tall weeds also!

Nov. 2-PAC meeting report, part 2: Regular meeting

The meeting was called to order at 6:17 by Emilie Quast.  16 attenders.
Our speaker was Kimberly Simmonds from  Minneapolis 311 Services, as reported in part 1.
COURTWATCH:  Judi Cole, Hennepin County Atty’s Office gave us the updates.
This is Judi’s last report.  She has transferred back to Adult Prosecution.  Sarah Becker has also left the 2nd Precinct (and moved to the 5th).  In January, we will receive updates from  Kerri Kovalesky (City Atty) and Sandra Filardo, (Cnty Atty.)
Ronald Bailey, 2nd degree murder charge; recently had a 20-02 hearing which is to determine if someone can be charged; he was found to be mentally unfit.  He has a hearing on 11-26 and it’s presumed he will be found “guilty but not guilty by reason of mental illness”; there will be a hearing which should lead to an automatic commitment to St. Peter.    It’s actually difficult to get this judgment  under rule 20-02 which is not handed out easily.
Samuel Hasse has some city and county cases pending, and is not allowed within 3 blocks of Dinkytown Wine and Spirits–he’s well known in the area.   He has 3 city cases, the newest from October, and all are in Marcy Holmes.  Hasse’s omnibus hearing was on 11/20 so we’ll hear more at the next Courtwatch.    Daniel Heacock was found incompetent in May of 2018 for a 3rd degree burglary charge; he will have a hearing in May 2019 to determine his competency status.    Cody Horton had a sentencing hearing on 11-19, the burglary was dismissed because he didn’t break in with intent to commit a crime although kicking in the door caused fear in the victim; because of no intent to burglarize, the county attorney and the defense agreed the judge was unlikely to find that burglary was Mr. Horton’s intent and would dismiss the charge.    Curtis Laroque one case was dismissed and he has completed probation.   James Zaccardi remains on probation until 5/24/21 and is apparently keeping the terms of probation but has a 11/27 hearing for 5th degree drug possession, which occurred on 10/29 and could impact his probation.  Michael Zaccardi has an 11-27  omnibus hearing for 3rd degree assault.
Joshua Poplawski had a review hearing on 11/20 regarding his HOMES court conditions; we have not yet heard what happened.
Maxim Chance is on probation until 4/19 and is keeping terms of probation.   Johnny Hall remains on probation until 9/20 and has no updates so is apparently keeping to the terms of probation.   Paula Heille continues to meet the terms of probation, which will be through 7/12/21.  Bryan Holmes  just completed probation on the 16th of November. Mahad Ismail remains on probation to 7/29/19 with no updates. Robert  Schroeder remains on probation to 3/20/19 and has no updates.
Dwayne Miles 5th degree drug charge was dismissed on 10/29. [removed from Court Watch]
Alfonso Seals will be in St. Cloud until 7/13/20 and was removed from Court Watch.
Left off Court Watch list by accident: Jonell Butler and Natalie Box.   Butler was charged with three robberies and an aggravated assault (which put someone in the hospital) on the night of Oct 5-6 in  Marcy-Holmes and near NE Minneapolis.    Box accompanied and abetted him but also has her own arson charge from earlier in the year when she set fire to a roommate’s belongings in a shelter.   Butler will have a jury trial on January 14, while Box has a hearing on December 4.  Again, we’ll be hearing how that works out in January.
QUESTION ABOUT MPD COMMUNICATION:  Nick Juarez reported:  Block club leaders have asked why they are no longer receiving  crime alerts.  The city switched to a new system in June that will make much more information available but  the new system can’t yet send out notices.  The City Council received complaints that the old notice forms were used to profile minorities and the CC is looking into that allegation to see if the notices comply with city ordinances.  There was a complaint that notices were being used to target minorities.  If the Council determines there was no discrimination or violation, we’ll be able to send them out again. However that works out, Block Club leaders and others can still receive information by subscribing to the new Crime Alert we know what’s going on in our areas.  Search “raids online” and enter your address.  Again, when police reports are generated, we’ll send you an email alert.  That kind of replaces the block leader alerts for now.  OR, go to:   [EQ: that is badly formatted.  You can’t see it, but there are two underscores in there, which show up as blanks.  It is actually  police_crimealert_signup,  I found the sign up rather clunky but I am not adept with new systems.  If you have a problem, contact
Inspector Loining reported:  It’s the time of the year to look back on what we’ve accomplished over the year and  to plan on what we’re going to do in the coming year.  Among them, the Inspector wants to have a better map for presentation.  What is going up is property crimes in many areas.  One area of concern is Marcy-Holmes, especially the area east of the freeway.  We have a lot of college students moving in and people don’t really know each other, don’t secure their doors or windows.  We are trying to drive the message home, “Please Folks, watch your phones, lock your doors, watch who is coming or going.”  We have additional patrols in the area down there and extending into SE Como.  Our CPS’s have been sending out blasts with the messages to lock up and be aware.    We have had some success down there, and had no burglaries over one weekend.  Northeast, especially Holland had some burglaries of houses and garages, but we made one arrest, of a juvenile who did a burglary of an occupied dwelling, took the car and drove it home.  He was picked up when his mother was spotted walking away from the car(!).  When he was taken in he confessed and is now in line to get some of the assistance he needs.   That and a few others were key arrests, and the area has settled down a bit.
Northeast over 4-7 weeks had a rise in burglary of garages.  We found a suspect who was driving a vehicle that he’d use to force open the garage doors, by popping the doors off their tracks.   So they could steal stuff.  We used public information officer to watch for suspicious activity.  Months ago Audubon and Waite Park n’hoods.  That time it was a white SUV.   We made a key arrest and the burglaries dried up.  The new vehicle  is a grey 2-door pickup truck which has been spotted in the area of the garage burglaries.  So now it’s starting up again with the new vehicle.     We’ll start by placing our “target” signs there to increase awareness, along with our focused door knocking.    Additionally we have door hangers if officers notice an open garage and no one is around –they are also to increase citizen awareness.  People are looking into garages to steal snowblowers, bikes, anything they can sell to get their fix.
We have a new windshield flyer.  This  one has a blue stripe.  When we have time we stop to talk to people on how to not become a victim, take the valuables out of your car, into the house.  That’s even safer than “Junk in the Trunk”.
Nick Juarez had a few words about package thefts which rise at this time of year.  If you know you have something coming from Amazon or UPS, ask them to leave at the rear door, have a neighbor pick it up.  Amazon has lock boxes all over the city — you get a code and you can pick up your packages.  We had a couple of guys just riding their bikes around,  looking for packages.  We’ve also had people who have cameras and gotten good descriptions from those photos.
Another issue is cars being stolen while they are running  in the morning to warm them up.   Do NOT use your key to start them up unless you are sitting in them.
A citizen reported that now the East Hennepin construction materials are gone, the “East Henn. Speedway”  has resumed.  CCM Fletcher will be working on it with Traffic Control.
We had a problem with a dope house on Madison, and are still working on it.  We have made progress and are still working on it.  This property has more than a few problems and the police
There are problems that are very challenging.  We have the number 2 overdose house  in the entire city and it’s in NE Mpls.  We have  13 overdoses year to date (11/19).  So we’ve gotten 2 search warrants this year, and have social services involved.  Plenty of activity but sometimes it takes a while because it isn’t just  one person, it’s a cluster of people.  If the owner is a relative, that adds a whole different level of difficulty.
Emilie Quast reported that NextDoor has a feature that may be causing trouble.  When a crime is reported on NextDoor, a button pops up asking if the poster wants the report shared with the police.  People assume that since the button is there, all they have to do is hit “yes” and the police have been notified.  Because she asked for MPD Report number and was told that the victim didn’t get one, Emilie suspected that no one at the MPD is aware of the “report”.  No one is monitoring NextDoor and MPD does not have an account that might alert the Second Precinct to the crime.  Several other attenders saw the report also and agreed that “something needs to change”.  Inspector Loining promised this will be examined — there’s nothing good about making people think they’ve reported a crime when, in fact, they have not.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:46

Oct. 2-PAC meeting report: 911 Emergency Center

The meeting was called to order by Larry Ranallo at 6:20. 20 people attending.
Amy Sizer and Laurie Thomas from the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center,  joined us. Ms. Sizer, our  presenter, has been with the MECC for 15 years.
The Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center, located in City Hall, is probably the best known Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the area, but actually there are 15 other PSAPs in the 9 county area including the University of MN, Hennepin County EMS, North Memorial Ambulance. The MECC works closely with the others. It’s the Minneapolis center that handles most Minneapolis 911 calls and dispatches help for Minneapolis, but it’s the location of the call that determines which Center acts on it. For example, if you call from the freeway, most of the time Hennepin County will take the call, but if the MECC gets a call and feels it should go to (e.g.) U of MN,  the MECC routes the call there. (The caller does not have to call again.)
The staff includes 59 dispatchers (used to be 69), 9 supervisors, 1 operations manager, 1 training and quality manager, 1 training & quality specialist and 4 administrative staff members.
Yes they are hiring.  They look for people who have a background in customer service, but that isn’t a requirement.  Staff receives all in-house training.
Each dispatcher must successfully complete as much as 560 hours of classroom training and 1 on 1 coaching before they are permitted to answer a 911 without direct supervision. This training includes learning basic medical terminology, computer skills, what constitutes good customer service, the geography of the area. Those that go on to dispatcher level take an additional 440 hours of training in classroom and one on one coaching for Police Dispatch or 128 hours for Fire Dispatch.
What happens when a call comes in: Calls are received by call takers and monitored by dispatchers — stations are set up with three monitors so both taker and dispatcher know what’s happening. In smaller agencies, the taker may do the dispatching. The MECC wants the call taker to stay on the phone with you in case your situation is changing and new information needs to be relayed. The call taker monitors information and doesn’t spent time dispatching. The dispatcher can then focus on the dispatch and not worry about the caller hanging up or missing new information.
The MECC has 6 overlapping responsibilities: 1) Answer 911 calls; 2) Answer other 10-digit non-emergency calls. They are trying to move more of those to 311 (but if you’re not sure, call 911 and we’ll figure out where the call should go); 3) Dispatch Police, Fire and EMS; 4) Provide support services to the MPD; 5) Track and report events on the SpotShotter & Bait Vehicle programs; 6) Manage data practices requests and Data Administration.
The MECC’s internal customers include the MPD, the MPRB-PD, MFD, Hennepin EMS, North Memorial EMS. QUESTION: how do you work with  MPRB police?  ANSWER: we don’t dispatch them but do work with them all the time, monitor their data.
Working statistics:  in 2017 the MECC answered 578371 phone calls (over 1,550/day), dispatched 41,985 fire trucks, and dispatched 382,589 police responses. And when the going is tougher, as after the NoMi 2011 tornado, they handled more than 700 calls in the first hour.  Between 2:15 and 5:45 PM that day, they responded to 2023 calls. (This was on a day and at a time when there were only 13 operators, 3 fire dispatchers + 2 MFD captains, 6 police dispatchers and 2 supervisors).
When YOU make a 911 call:
KNOW WHEN to call:  Call for any event that requires  the police, fire dept., or an ambulance.
KNOW WHAT to say: Know your location. People think their phones can be located, but DON’T trust that.  Answer all questions and follow the directions you get from the operator even if it doesn’t make sense to you; the operator is asking because the people responding to your call want and need the answers to those questions. Stay calm, so you can speak slowly and clearly. DO NOT HANG UP until the 911 dispatchers says it is OK to hang up.
The 911 office can handle 21 languages, European, Asian, and African.
Technology: in 1990 fewer than 10% of all calls were from cell phones. Today the number is 70%.
In answer to a question:  Sometimes MECC dispatches when a caller doesn’t (or can’t) give a location. Cellphones do give approximate location within 50 yards, so we may dispatch a squad to circle the area. We may get a call and all we can hear is someone screaming or perhaps we hear nothing. In that case, we go a step further and get information from the phone company, billing address or whatever the company might have. We’ll get as much as we can from the phone and send it over to dispatch.
The next generation is already arriving as Text-to-911 has been implemented state-wide, but there are drawbacks as location is not as accurate so a caller still needs to know her exact location. The next technology upgrade will permit video and data transmission.
The last few years we’ve had gained in-state inter-agency communication protocols, so if someone [out state]  has a flood or other big event, the MECC can go up there and help.
Fire Chief Fruetel recently presented the new van-size Fire Dept response vehicles, staffed by EMTs.  As always, the 911 call-taker will ask  two important questions about people who need medical attention: “Is the person awake?  Is she breathing normally?” Before the new, smaller vehicles were put into service, if the answer was “yes” MECC  would dispatch an ambulance. Now if the answers are “Yes” we’ll start with the van rescue vehicle and let the EMTs  aboardask their questions and decide about the ambulance based on what they find.
Chief Fruetel was quoted as saying that 80% of the runs with the full fire truck, were for non-emergency runs.  (Sprained ankles and such).  Now the rigs are available for dispatch to fires.