March Report, Part 2

2 QUICK ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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

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

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

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

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

Assault – 73  (includes 8 domestic)

Burglary – 29

Vandalism 31  –  DOWN

Homicide  0

Larceny/Theft 45 – SAME

Robbery 8 – SAME (includes 1 car jacking)

Stolen Property 3 – DOWN

Weapon Law Violations 4

Total:       193 incidents

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

Gunshots events 1

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

————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)

e-quas@umn.edu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QQ: So Canopy can call 911 for backup?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continued on Feb. report, Part 2

Emilie Quast, Board member

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan. Report, Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Knowing
  • Noticing
  • Responding

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

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

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

AVOIDANCE – This is the best tool you can use.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Know YOUR strengths and your weaknesses.

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

Pepper spray
Noisemaker (130-140+  Decibels)

Stun gun

Handgun (permit to carry)

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESPONDING:

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

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

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

AFTER AN EVENT:

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

Practice some self care.

Talk to someone about the incident.

QUESTIONS:

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

e-quas@tc.umn.edu

January Report, Part 2

SECOND PRECINCT NEWS

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

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

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:   CPS Ali reporting.

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

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

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

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

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

12/24 BUFFET NEWS  Emilie Quast reporting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURTWATCH

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

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

Dec. Report, part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Dec. report, Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov. Report: Who’s Supporting our Supporters?

Our speaker tonight is MPD Officer Conan Hickey.   Officer Hickey is a  former Eastsider who was  president of the Audubon Neighborhood Association while he lived here.   He is now a  board member of the MPD Police Officers’ Federation.   He will be talking about how the Federation supports Officers’ well-being. 

We had planned to have him speak with Lt. Catherine Michal  who is in the MPD Health & Wellness Unit.  The MPD H&W directly supports Chief Arradondo’s “Call To Action” which he presented in his July 2020 report to the Police Oversight Commission.  [EQ:  Please see the url for that below this report along with  the Labor Agreement between the City of Mpls and the Police Officers’ Federation.   Support for officers’ psychological well-being has been there for a long time — it’s not anything new, but it is receiving more attention and public support now.]  

EQ wrote, “We had planned…”,  but Lt. Michal was needed elsewhere and she sent her notes  to Officer Hickey to present for her. 

Fortunately, Officer Hickey IS here to let us know what the Federation does and does not do to support officers who are having a rough time.    Officer Hickey attended PAC as a representative of Audubon, and also as a police officer.  He has served as a police officer for 20 years, seven years in the MPD.    Just this year, he was elected to the Police Federation Board.  As a Board member, he’s been doing outreach to the communities, explaining what the Federation is, what its goals are, and trying to answer questions people might have.


WHAT IS THE POLICE FEDERATION?

Basically, we are a union just like the teachers union, SEIU, and others.   The biggest difference is that we can’t strike.  I’ve heard a lot of charges against the Federation, for example: we block policy for reforms or change.   That is absolutely not true.  I’ve heard that we pushed back against body cameras, and that is not true.  

What we are doing is advocating for officers.  We’re looking out for the  well-being of officers and protecting their benefits — again, this is the work all unions do.  We do look at policy changes and proposed rules to make sure that changes don’t put officers at risk, legally or otherwise.  We look at changes to make sure new policies or changes are in agreement with what’s already there.  We don’t want officers to get into trouble for doing their jobs. [EQ:  or trying to  follow conflicting rules?]

Another Federation duty is to represent  officers in dispute, just as any other union would do.   The Officers pay dues and are entitled to representation through the union or through MPPOA (Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association) is a state organization that can represent officers. 

We are accused of defending “bad cops”.   What we do is to go through procedures and make sure that, if a cop is going through a disciplinary action, everything is being done using accepted procedure, and that any discipline that might come down is fair and equitable.   Again: this is what members of any union expect from their union.

The Police Federation’s biggest roles are  ensuring fair treatment and having Christmas dinners. 

COMMENT from an AFSCME union member:   When we voted our union in, we called for wage equity  — that University people should be paid a wage comparable with wages of people doing the same job in industry or business.   After the union was successful  in achieving that, the Library Director asked for a comparison of library faculty wages and wages for that level of work in business.   The fall out was that full librarians also got raises, because of AFSCME’s work for its members.   Union negotiations  can lead to benefits that “trickle up.”

QUESTION: Are there rules about supporting political candidates:  Hickey:  we have a bizarre situation with political candidates.   They want our help, but don’t want to have to acknowledge that help.  

QUESTION:  How many members does the union have, and does it only represent Minneapolis police?  ANSWER:  Membership is limited to MPD officers [and now Community Service Officers, see below].  We have about 280  officers, plus Sergeants and Lieutenants.  Membership is closed to MPD staff above Lieutenants, which is comparable to “upper middle management”
QUESTION:   How many members of the MPD actually live in Minneapolis?   ANSWER: The Star Tribune did a report a couple of years ago, and found that 8 or 9% of the MPD lived in Minneapolis.

QUESTION:  Was there any reaction that you can share about Union members making political statements, posing for photos or similar. ANSWER:  this is constantly being discussed because it’s a balancing act.  We have no pull with the media.  If we put out a statement, it can be twisted.   If it’s printed, the media can pull part of the statement out which will shade, if not change the message.  Our position on an event can be easily misconstrued.   That conversation is happening almost every day.

QUESTION: Does the union feel it has some work to do to change public perception after the last President’s campaign?   ANSWER: Yes.   I went door knocking for Fight for our Heroes, a group that was trying to inform voters what the real-world consequences of defunding the MPD might be. People often wanted to know how Kroll was still the Federation President! 

QUESTION:  I can relate to that.   I also started a new job and drinking out of a fire hose is the way to describe it.  Two questions:  First, are people in the Federation only officers  or are there members who have never been officers?  Second, Our church recently decided to hire an officer for safety.   Is that kind of work covered by the Federation?    ANSWER:  First, Membership is open to officers including Lts and Sgts.  We recently did open membership to Community Service Officers who had no representation.   Second, your arrangement with the officer is between your Church and the officer.   The Federation has nothing to do with it.

QUESTION: What do Community Service Officers do?  ANSWER:  They do non-enforcement work.  They wear a darker uniform with no weapons.   They do critical work that is necessary to keep things running smoothly, like taking cars into the garage for service and bringing out a replacement, taking certain types of evidence to the BCA,  helping  with search warrants, and more.  

MPD HEALTH & WELLNESS UNIT

Officer Hickey presented Lt. Michal’s description of the MPD Health & Wellness Unit which she leads.

The MPD Health and Wellness unit focuses on the MPD goal on Employee Wellness in Mind, Body and Spirit.   They are not part of the chain of command which is important.  Some officers would not approach the H and W if they thought their boss could hear about it. 

Health and Wellness rests on four important directives.  They:

1) Provide Professional Health & Wellness Support Services to ALL MPD Employees.

2) Deliver education on Available Benefits and Resources to  ALL MPD Employees.

3) Ensure Easy Access to Available Benefits & Resources to ALL MPD Employees.

4) Create and Maintain partnerships with other Health & Wellness Professionals.

Staff includes 3 paid professionals, the Lieutenant, the Mental Health Coordinator, and the Health & Fitness Coordinator.   They are supported by 42 Sworn and 8 Civilian volunteer Peer Support Team Members, whose work is to push resources to employees who need to use them.  Their time is spent conducting topic research and on-site presentations, classroom presentations, and follow-up to visits and presentations   Services provided fall into three broad categories: Training & Education, Outreach & Connections, Resource Access. 

TRAINING & EDUCATION – Psycho-education training, wellness resource education and referrals to employee benefits.   Services provided include:

  • Weekly MPD Spouse Support Group
  • Monthly Female First Responder Support Group (Police-Fire-EMS)
  • Traumatic Event / Critical Incident Debriefings (CISM) This is for when an officer is involved with a shooting, for example.  This is a debrief that is completely separate from the debrief conducted by the department.  The outline is What Happened? How did that play out?, and How is that affecting you?
  • One-to-One support Sessions
  • Defusing Sessions
  • Returning Employees Wellness On-boarding Sessions
  • Peer Support Team Training
  • In-Service trainings
  • Academy Trainings (Recruits & CSO’s)
  • Promotional and Leadership Program Training

OUTREACH & CONNECTION – Services provided include:

  • Biometrics & Flu Shot Clinics
  • Chiropractic Care Clinics
  • Weight Loss & Nutrition Programs
  • Local Physical Exercise Facilities and Services
  • Therapy Dogs Services
  • MPD Chaplain Services (13)

The Chaplain Program consists of 13 Minneapolis clergy and faith community leaders, representing a variety of cultures and faith traditions.   Their mission is to provide spiritual care and support services to members of the Minneapolis Police Department, and to their families, in times of need.

RESOURCE ACCESS – The MPD Wellness App (CORDICO) is the main platform for providing access to wellness resources.   The Wellness Unit monitors and updates this platform on a regular basis to ensure it is operational and up to date.

2021 INITIATIVE HIGHLIGHT – Free Mental Health Care through MEDICA Insurance — 10 free Mental Health Care visits for all MPD First Responders and for each of their dependents.

This new service has helped officers and family members process exposure to the following:

Repeat calls involving traumatic events (Suicides, shootings, child victims, etc.)

Critical Incident Calls

Illness and death of family members and/or co-workers

Social issues

QUESTION: How do you move someone who may need help but  sees accepting help as displaying weakness, to actually accepting help or perhaps seeking it?    I’m thinking of the reports of suicide by officers who failed to keep the January 6 protesters out of the U.S. Capital, but that is only the most recent (and widely publicized) example of  warrior culture gone toxic.

Hickey:   Yes, there is a barrier and I’ve had that.  Since I’ve gone through that experience, I use my experience and my stories to help other people through that barrier.   After the riots, I was working with people several times a week telling them  “You need to talk to somebody.”   If they said they didn’t want to talk to anyone, I’d let them know I had an appointment with [someone he trusted] the next day, and offered to introduce this person to the person he was concerned about. Even if they just spent the time staring at each other, Hickey’s goal was to start the process.  He believes that it’s very important for a person to hear a peer saying “I’ve done this.   You need this.  Just go in and get it started.”  He believes that for some officers, the only way to get them started is to hear that a peer has done it and knows what “talking to somebody” can do.

——————————————————————— 
EQ: 
As background for this meeting, I pulled up several documents including Chief Arradondo’s report in July 2020 to the Police Conduct Oversight Commission.  https://lims.minneapolismn.gov/Download/CommitteeReport/1383/2020.7.14%20PCOC%20Full%20Minutes.pdf  or tiny URL  https://tinyurl.com/5fktvajx   See especially Chief Arradondo’s comments on the Early Intervention System (EIS), History of EIS, pages  3-9: “designed to provide intervention and/or wellness tools”, city phones have an ” MPD wellness app”,  which “provides resources … [access to] trusted therapists, peer support, MPD health and wellness unit, chaplain support, medical support, human resources support”  and continues.  Startlingly, Chief Arradondo noted the  prevalence of suicide by First Responders across the U.S.  He commented on the need [eq: since met] to find funding for equipment like body cameras and similar recording devides.   He noted that these health  resources are available to all MPD employees, sworn officers and civilians. 
I also looked at several clauses in the Labor Agreement between the City of Mpls and the  Police Officers’ Federation, which speak to psychological well-being.   I will say that the contract strongly supports any officer who feels a need to step back.  This contract expired at the end of 2019 but since a replacement hasn’t been accepted by vote, it is still in effect. Article 26 speaks directly to officer response to critical incidents.  Several other articles are supportive of officers who need to step back.  See:    https://www2.minneapolismn.gov/media/content-assets/www2-documents/departments/wcmsp-200131.pdf  or Tiny URL
https://tinyurl.com/hns335u7
Additionally, people have contacted me to suggest resources including a few that civilians can contribute to.   Check the Minnesota 100 Club  (https://mn100club.com/) ;  Heroes Helping Heroes  (https://heroeshelpingheroesmn.com/) ;  the Minneapolis Police Foundation  (https://www.minneapolispolicefoundation.com/) ;  the Minneapolis Mounted Police Foundation  (http://www.minneapolismountedpolicefoundation.org/)
QUESTION:   How does one rise to Lieutenant level?   First you rise to Sergeant level, and then there’s a battery of tests: written, an interview,  and an assessment where you are presented with a series of scenarios: “What would you do if you had to resolve this situation?”  “How would you set up this schedule?”     You work at the Sergeant level for 5 years, shifting around to get different experiences, like patrol, investigation experience, and others.   Then you take  tests to be considered for rise to Lieutenant. 

Minnesota requires a 2-year college degree for admission and then you go through a “post program” which is another two years.   “POST” stands for Police Officer Standards and Training.  [He started  in California, which is different.]  When you are POST Certified, you can apply to be a police officer.   If you are hired by MPD, SPPD, Highway Patrol, you next go through their training, which is another 6 months, to cover their firearms training, their defense training, state laws and city ordinances, information systems, record keeping, and more. 

Thank you Officer Hickey and Lt. Michal.
If readers have more questions about this presentation, please send your questions to me and I’ll forward them to the Officers. Youtube recording: https://youtu.be/OBnZiTjNUb8

STATE OF THE PRECINCT


Per the MPD Second Precinct Crime Dashboard for 10/9 to 11/7/2021:Violent Crime:  (0 murder)
Rape           4; Robbery     27; Agg. Aslt.   19   (includes domestic Assault 7)        
Total           50 

Property Crime:  (0 arson)
Burglary         47; Larceny        202; Theft fr.MV     91; Auto theft       55

Total             304  but my calculator says 395.   Apparently either multiple crimes happened at certain incidents OR officers changed the charge but didn’t erase the first report.

Our city wide percentage puts us at  only reporting 7.74% of the city total,  but just  looking at violent crime, we are reporting twice the number we had in 2018.

Crime concentrations are highest in Marcy Holmes along University Avenue all the way to St. Paul.   Additionally there were reports along 10th Ave SE.

In NE Mpls, the incidents were highest along 1st Ave NE, and following  arteries out of the Precinct, especially University Ave NE.

Rashid commented:  There is a portion of crime that we can control:    Burglary,  Larceny,  Auto theft.  We are  still seeing unforced entry of dwellings, theft from unlocked cars, and theft of cars that are left with the motors running.  All of that is mostly preventable.  

We need more officers on the street, that is still true, but we also need residents to take the extra steps like locking cars, doors and windows, to make it harder for criminals to commit crimes of opportunity.   We can bring those numbers down.    He’s calling for participation by residents! 

QUESTION:   Talking about car thefts. a resident was in a store and saw a car running in the parking lot.  She wondered out loud who would leave their car that way; it turned out the owner was behind her in line.  He showed her his remote system which figured into it.  Does Rashid consider that kind of remote safe?

Rashid:  There are only a few remote systems that will turn off if someone tries to open the door.  If you have one of those AND you don’t have anything valuable in your car for the thief to grab that might be OK.    He still prefers that if you want to leave your car running, get a model that can only be opened with a different key.  [Rashid didn’t like that very much either.]   The dealership must install this system.    That will cost you between $500 and $600.  He had it installed on his wife’s car, and tested it himself — it works as promised.
 
Inspector Loining added some detail to Marcy Holmes crime:  The 8th St. Market has been robbed twice in the last few weeks, and there have been robberies  in Marcy Holmes as well.

Inspector Loining gave a shout-out to Probation Officer Holly Ihrke, who has been joining  Safety Patrols in the Dinkytown area.  CPS Rashid joined in, saying “Holly has been instrumental in filling the gap that was left when CPS Juarez moved from MPD to UMPD.   She’s been  identifying our frequent flyers, and  keeping track of what’s going on.  If it wasn’t for her energy and initiative, our probation and prevention efforts would not be as robust as she keeps it.   

COURTS

P.O. Ihrke brought current 2nd Precinct updates. 

Charged felony cases for the 2nd Pct include :   13 felony assault charges, 4 burglaries,  3 drug charges,  3 criminal assaults,  2 receiving stolen property, 5 robberies, 1 theft = so 31 felonies charged total since late August.  [This report comes out quarterly, so it’s not just the last month’s numbers.]
REMINDER:  If anyone has questions about a specific felony, contact her.  She can let you know if they’ve been charged or where they are in the process.

There were no updates from either Hennepin County or the City Attorney’s Offices. 

QUESTION:  Are the Covid triggered health protocols still being followed in the workhouse and the jail?
P.O. Ihrke:  The numbers in the jail are up somewhat since the start of Covid, coved, but  they’re still using conditional release and electronic home monitoring to keep the population down.   The numbers at the Hennepin County Workhouse are down significantly; in 2019 they were over 300 and now they are about 80.  There’s been a big push to get all work-release on Electronic Work Monitoring.   Now people are only going to the workhouse  to serve straight time. 

She continued:   The nice thing about Electronic Home Monitoring is that the people don’t miss work.  It doesn’t interfere if people are receiving medical care.   Another challenge is that there is a housing crisis which affects this too.   If they want to cheat the system and drive around, it will have a negative impact on their sentencing; if they sat in custody, they couldn’t cheat, but could get and transmit Covid, which is why the protocols were written that way.  She thinks that the courts  want to get people on EHM if they have a job and housing. 
GENERAL NOTES: 

Our December meeting will also begin at 7PM.   After that, attenders will vote on which time works better for them.   Do you want Call to order at 6:15, 6:30, or 7 PM.  You’ll be the deciders.
Our December meeting will feature the MPD K-9 teams.     We’ll meet at the same Zoom address, call to order at 7PM.

Finally, I got a surprise note from the person who takes notes and writes reports for the Third Precinct (3-PAC).   I had no idea they’d even continued to meet. and there they are.  The notes are open data, and I can send on to folks who are interested in finding out what 3-PAC is up to.   Earlier this summer, I also heard that a person was trying to restart the PAC for the 4th Precinct.   It’s time to get together and figure out what we can do that will go better working together.   (Note: something like this was tried about 10 or 15 years ago, but I never heard about more than the initial meeting)


Emilie Quast, Board member
MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)
Minneapolis MN 55418
e-quas@tc.umn.edu

Cornerstone: Rebuilding Lives. Restoring Hope.

Our September speaker, Cheryl Kolb-Untinen, is the Program Director for Cornerstone’s Prevention, Education and Clinical Services program.  In addition to her academic qualifications, she is a certified “Danger Assessor”   and a “Personal Empowerment Facilitator”

Cornerstone has two statewide programs providing services, Day One and General Crime Services.

Founded in 1983, Cornerstone serves the needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual trafficking/exploitation and general crimes. It’s important that people have information on these services and how to access them.
Mission Statement:   Cornerstone’s continuum of service helps to create communities where individuals and families are safe and children thrive.   We advocate, educate, and lead the way to social change.

First:  defining key terms
Domestic violence — Based on Minnesota Statute  518B.01 the Domestic Abuse Act, there are seven relationships types that qualify as domestic abuse:
(a) Family or household members include:
(1) spouses and former spouses;
(2) parents and children;
(3) persons related by blood;
(4) persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
(5) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or
have lived together at any time;
(6) a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father,regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
(7) persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
(b) Domestic abuse means the following, if committed against a family or household
member by a family or household member:
(1) physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
(2) the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or
(3) terroristic threats, within the meaning of section 609.713, subdivision 1; criminal sexual conduct, within the meaning of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, or 609.3451; or interference with an emergency call within the meaning of section 609.78, subdivision 2.

Sexual violence — Cornerstone services are limited to adult victims and sexually
exploited/trafficked youth.  

There are several agencies in the Metro area that work with children regarding child sexual abuse including the Minnesota Childrens Resource Center at Childrens Hospital and Corner House (which does get confused with Cornerstone) both of which can conduct forensic exams and interviews.   Approximately 70% of victims of adult domestic abuse have had a previous victimization history, many in childhood or adolescence.  

Human trafficking – Minnesota law defines sex trafficking as The “receiving, recruiting,
enticing, harboring, providing, or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution  of the individual” or “ receiving profit or anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from [sex trafficking].” Minn. Stat. § 609.321, subd. 7a.

Ms.  Kolb-Untinen added that trafficking involves the benefit of something of value to a third party,  whereas Sexual Exploitation can be something like survival sex, trading sex for some unmet need, like food,shelter or cash going directly to the person who provided the sexual act.
General Crime — Any crime other than the 3 listed above is referred to as General Crime Victim Services. If someone is the victim of any crime, they can seek out services from Cornerstone general crime advocates who can provide direct service or resources/referrals if needed.

Impact of Covid —
Cornerstone runs the statewide helpline for victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence and trafficking/exploitation known as the Day One Crisis Line. This is a service for anyone in Minnesota who needs assistance or wants to speak to an advocate. If looking for shelter, a  victim only has to call Day One to get a referral for available space.   This is in contrast with a common situation in other states where a caller might get a list of places to contact in order to try and find spacein a shelter.  Day One can field the call and transfer it to a location where bed space is available or provide referrals where other desired services can be accessed.
Covid had a visible impact on the number of calls for shelter to  the Day One Crisis Line.  
Comparing a mid-March to mid-April tally, 2019 saw 470 calls, in 2020 they received 388 and in 2021 there were 323 calls.   The Covid lockdown had the unintended consequence of people being kept in the same residence that they may share with an abusive person.   It is significant that some callers stated they were hesitant to come into a shelter for fear of catching Covid. 

However, for the same period, the total number of all contacts (calls, texts, chats, email) were 1392, 1731, 1484 for the same period so actual calls for help rose in 2020.
In response, Cornerstone and nine other agencies applied for additional shelter funding so that clients could be put in individual hotel rooms which lessened the additional worry about contracting Covid.    There were also rooms set aside for people who had tested Covid positive to reduce the worry of Covid spread and to prevent being denied safe shelter.    These programs will be wrapping up at the end of September, 2021.

Services provided
Shelter:  Because funding comes from the Office of Justice programs, shelter is offered on a first come/first served basis to adults and their children escaping a dangerous or escalating situation.   It is focused on serving the immediate safety and support needs of individuals impacted by domestic violence, sexual violence and/or human trafficking.  This includes males up to age 18.  People can stay in emergency housing until their safety needs have been met and while seeking out a longer-term housing solution.   The reason to have some measure for length of stay in emergency shelters is that if people are not moved to other places, Cornerstone won’t have  open beds for new people who need to come in due to being in imminent danger.
Crisis support and advocacy:  Cornerstone can provide access to many resources for people who are seeking help, starting with being a trustworthy place to meet and talk about a participant’s situation and going on to offer options for possible next places and next steps. 

  Cornerstone’s 24-hour Helpline is 952-884-0330  

Adult Services:  Cornerstone offers support groups clinical services which are open to concerned persons and seasoned survivors.  Due to Covid-related stresses which triggered increasing numbers of callers for help, Cornerstone had to start a waiting list for people seeking that help.   Some support groups now meet via Zoom.  Cornerstone also offers support for concerned persons,  that is friends or family who know and care about someone who is experiencing domestic abuse. These support persons need to learn where to go for support for themselves or for the people they care about.

Seasoned Survivors is a group for women who identify as more mature and who no longer have minor children, who may have greater concerns about issues like co-parenting or custody.
A number of services provided by Cornerstone fall under the umbrella of Community and Economic Empowerment Services.   Some of these needs can include food support, crisis  advocacy, safety planning, financial empowerment classes or other service needs. 

Cornerstone  may also be able to assist with some economic needs through the Direct Client Assistance funds.  For instance, if an abuser broke into a victim’s residence through a window or door, this fund may be used to repair the door or the lock.
Cornerstone can provide criminal and civil legal system intervention, though civil services have  been in great demand.   While Cornerstone is temporarily no longer writing orders, they ARE  providing referrals to services that can assist with this.  Additionally, the court system has put a  lot of forms on-line with instructions so people can actually fill out some court papers on their own. 

For criminal intervention, Cornerstone has relationships with about 10 jurisdictions in the Metro area, including Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Richfield, Bloomington and other jurisdictions.  Cornerstone provides a liaison between the victim and the prosecutor so that the victim does not have to come into court for criminal proceedings if they choose not to, when an abuser has been arrested and charged.

Safe Harbor and other Sexual Violence Services, offer services to victims of human trafficking  and to sexually exploited youth and young adults.  Safe Harbor Services are now available to  people up to 24 years old.

Community and Economic Empowerment Services offer classes in financial literacy, and related  services including a rapid rehousing program.  A few years ago, HUD actually changed the definition of homeless to accommodate people fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence.   Until this change, there was not a good connection between identifying people as homeless due to experiencing domestic violence.
Youth services:    Cornerstone offers School-Based Services in middle school and high school  classrooms. They present on topics like dating violence, sexting, healthy relationships and more.   The school based services team created a social justice presentation that was approved by the  district and now can be offered to all Bloomington middle and high schools.
School based Services also includes advocacy to students referred by the schools or who self-refer. Not a Number is an educational group Cornerstone presents for youth at risk of sexualexploitation, though it is temporarily suspended because it can not be presented on Zoom.   We’re hoping it will resume soon.  It teaches youth to recognize what is happening when an adult may be grooming them or actually exploiting them.  [EQ; see https://love146.org/notanumber/]
Advocacy Services
Cornerstone is a resource and referral service to help people impacted by   violence.
Cornerstone offers speakers to explain the need for its services and to offer help to people who need that help.
Cornerstone offers volunteer opportunities to people who want to help others, including working behind the scenes, sorting donations and other services.
Cornerstone offers internship opportunities to people who are post-high school students studying in fields related to the participants we serve, such as social work, criminal  justice and gender and women’s studies..  Right now, Cornerstone can NOT offer Clinical Internships for Masters degree candidates, but hope to restart that soon.
Minnesota Day One Crisis Line – Day One is a network of over 90 victim- and youth-serving  agencies:  Together they provide:

  •  Support: 24-hour crisis supportive services
  •  Safety: Getting and keeping you and your family safe
  •  Housing: Providing emergency shelter and safe housing
  •  Resources:   Support groups, transitional housing, legal advocacy, culturally   specific services and more

CALL:  1-866-223-1111          TEXT: 612-399-9995

Minnesota Crime Victim Support Line.  Under Minnesota law, a crime victim is defined as a person who incurs loss or harm as a result of a crime.   A victim includes the family members,  guardian or custodian of a minor, or an incompetent, or an incapacitated, or a deceased person (Minnesota Statutes section 611A, subdivision 1)   Minnesota Emergency Crime Victim Fund can help pay for emergency costs that arise from being a crime victim such as assistance with the redemption fee for a car recovered from the impound lot, when other resources may not be  available.

CALL: 1-866-385-2699  TEXT: 612-399-9977Summary of ways to connect with Cornerstone Locations/phone numbers are:
Cornerstone  Bloomington (1000 East 80th St.  Bloomington MN)  952.884.0376
Cornerstone Brooklyn Center  (7051 Brooklyn Blvd. Brooklyn Center MN)  952.884.0376
Cornerstone Minneapolis (2249 East 38th St., Minneapolis MN)  612.374.9077
Call first, many services are in high demand and an appointment may be needed

24-hour helpline: 952.884.0330

MN Day One Crisis Line   Call 1.866.223.1111   Text 612.399.9995
MN Crime Victim Support Line   Call 1.866.385.2699   Text 612.399.9977

Websites: cornerstonemn.orgdayoneservices.org
Facebook: cornerstonemn   and  dayonemn

In answer to the question about certification as a Danger Assessor, and a Personal
Empowerment Facilitator, Ms Kolb-Untinen explained both programs.
Danger assessor certification:   

Dr. Jacqueline Campbell of Johns Hopkins University worked with and studied histories of domestic violence and domestic homicide cases.   She discovered a number of common markers for danger as a relationship goes through an escalation phase.
While nothing is 100%, knowing these markers can give people an idea of where things are heading and what safety planning might be needed. 

Additionally, the most common coping skills Ms Kolb-Untinen has found in victims are
minimization and denial.  Many times when completing the assessment with participants, they  are surprised that the assessment relates so closely to their personal experience. The assessment can provide valuable information to a person who is finding it difficult to acknowledge the extent of what is actually occurring. 

Some Law Enforcement agencies in Hennepin County have assessments they can use when they are dispatched to a domestic call.

www.dangerassessment.org is the Danger Assessment website which offers on-line training of the tool, and you can also go to https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/jr000250e.pdf  which is the Office of Justice Program PDF   There are also articles about Ms Campbell on Wikipedia.  

QQ from 2nd Precinct:   We have the Cornerstone number to hand out, but people want to know what the cost will be to them.

ANSWER:  Cornerstone referral services are free to anyone who needs them.    The only thing that would be charged for is if a person utilizes clinical therapy.  Fees for that service are on a sliding scale to make that as accessible as possible. 

Minneapolis PD has a contract with Cornerstone to provide a 48-hour phone response service, to work toward whatever the victimseems to need.
Asking about animal abuse in a troubled household, Day One has a program called MNAFAS  (Minnesota Animal and Family Safety)  through which animal care locations/veterinarians can foster and shelter an animal when a victim/survivor is going into an emergency shelter. Many  shelters are a type of communal living situation, so bringing in animals other than trained service animal is not allowed.
EQ:   Minneapolis Animal Care and Control offers safe shelter to animals in this situation also.   The complainant must have an official case file with the police or social services.   MACC will  coordinate with social services to extract the people and animals at an agreed upon time.   The  animal can stay at the MACC for a week free of charge, longer in some circumstances.   The only fee to retrieve the animal is the cost of bringing innoculations up to date and to buy a city  license if there is no license on record.

FFI: https://courtwatch2pac.com/2017/04/25/2-pac-april-meeting-report/    scroll down to 1) Domestic Violence Initiative and item 2 following.

Empowerment facilitator certification: 

Twin Cities Rise is a program started in 1993 by a former General Mills executive, Steve Rothschild, who is now a board member, emeritus.   The current chairman is Donzel Leggett, another former General Mills executive.  This North Side-
based nonprofit works with people who may have been incarcerated or had challenging life situations resulting in not much support, focus on education, and perhaps little training in job  skills. 

Ms Kolb-Untinen related that the first class taught at Rise focused on the hard skillsneeded at the jobs that were lined up.   At the end of the year, very few placed persons still had that job.  Rise officials discovered that emotional intelligence and personal empowerment were necessary components to keep the job. 

Cornerstone can offer these classes where these skills can be learned. This is of particular relevance to Kolb-Untinen because one of her interest areas is the prevention of re-victimization, which is an area of vulnerability for persons who have already experienced victimization. 

Using the Twin Cities Rise Personal Empowerment curriculum, she can helpprevent that by helping people to learn to how to value themselves, set healthy boundaries and other emotional intelligence and personal empowerment skills. (Note: Classes are not currently being offered, please see https://www.twincitiesrise.org/ for their current offerings.)
EQ Twin Cities Rise was featured in two 9/6/21 Star Tribune stories:
https://www.startribune.com/twin-cities-rise-offers-second-chances-for-the-unemployed-and-underemployed/600094269/
and
https://www.startribune.com/black-general-mills-executive-grateful-for-his-success-helps-others-
make-goals/600094270/

QQ What is the new definition of homelessness?
Cheryl :They added: fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, sexual violence or
stalking.  Further comment:  We know that one out of four women and about one out of ten men have experienced physical domestic violence.  Healing does not usually occur in a straight line, you go from here to there and you’re done. Healing is more like spiral, you do some work on the issue and then may need to re-visit parts of it when you experience a trigger or even a milestone event in life. Many people spend their life coping with the effects of victimization, [her] way of coping was using food. In deciding to work in this field,  I needed to move beyond coping and work on healing. It’s not uncommon for victim/survivors to work in the field of advocacy, estimates are that about 65-70% of people called to work in this field are survivors.

QQ: You talked about a general crime fund.   There is also a state Crime Reparations Board.

Cheryl:   We can assist people in accessing Emergency Crime Victim Funds for things like that door that got broken or the car that was impounded. 

Reparations is a little bit different.  Reparations is about longer term financial consequences of experiencing crime victimization such as lost wages, funeral/burial expenses for the survivors of a homicide victim and counseling/mental health services as some of these services can take place over a longer length of time.
Cheryl closed with a reminder that her contact information is [in this report]; if anyone needs it they should feel free to contact Emilie, who will get that to you.

Sept report, Part 2: State of the Precinct and Watching the Courts

State of the Precinct

Crime summary for the first 12 days of September: 

8 aggravated assaults, including 5 domestic agg. assaults.

2 robberies and

1 rape

Property crime – 130 incidents, including

68 larcenies

27 theft from m.vehicles

18 auto theft

17 arsons.

As usual, the Second Precinct had the lowest percent, 6.25% of all reported Mpls. Cases.

CPS Rashid Ali commented that when we talk about the lowest percent in the city, we lose sight of the

fact that for the Second Precinct, these numbers are very high.  They are going up every week. 

We just do not have enough officers on the street.   AND if we had seen those numbers two years

ago, we would be freaking out.  [EQ:  Good points!   Thank you.]

QQ: Is police attention still focused in Dinkytown?  

CPS Ali:  Dinkytown is an area of concern.   MPD and UMPD are working closely together to

bring the numbers down.   Both forces were very concerned about Welcome Week bringing new

students back to the area.   MPD and UMPD focused on putting a lot of boots on the street,

walking around, talking with students, reminding them of safety techniques (“Be aware of your

surroundings.” “Don’t focus on your phone.”)   The Second Precinct has enough funds to give

officers overtime detail keeping people safe.  

Welcome Week is particularly difficult because people new to the area perhaps don’t realize they are targets.

QQ: You have stated that crime is going up.   Is there any indication that it is starting to stabilize?

CPS Ali:  At present, we anticipate that the numbers are going to stay the same unless we get

more officers.   We need those officers walking the street.

QQ: So, this is more of a staffing issue? 

CPS Ali: To give you an example: we no longer have a Community Response Team (or “cert” for

CRT) because we don’t have the staff to offer that service.  CRT did drug enforcement and drug

investigations.   Now several precincts share a CRT team, but we used to have our own.

For another example, we used to have a Problem Properties Unit, which would address common

issues like loud parties, loud music, drugs and criminal activity centered on a single house.

Now, the strategy is to focus on hot spots — Dinkytown, Marcy Holmes and Central — because that will have the biggest impact.

The bottom line is just this:   We need more officers.

Court Update:  Nnamdi Okoronkwo, City Attorney, reporting:

Minneapolis Attorney’s Office is continuing to work on backlog cases and we’re still not able to

work from our offices.    Returning to the office was supposed to begin early in September, and

that’s now been pushed back to January.  We are triaging a lot of the cases, and trying to focus on

those in which people have been victimized – particularly accidents, domestic assaults, and

similar.  These cases are being pushed out further and further, and we’re trying to deliver some

sort of end result if at all possible.

Reform efforts: Officers no longer use expired tabs or things dangling from the rearview mirror

as the basis for a traffic stop.   Hennepin County is saying they won’t prosecute those cases. 

Recently the Legislature decided that unpaid fines or fees will no longer lead to a suspended or

revoked license.

QQ:   Is it just “on their honor” that people register their vehicles?   There doesn’t seem to be any

enforcement.  Most people would anyway, but some would not.

QQ: If they don’t get a license, they’re uninsured, right?   So, who pays if there is an accident?

That sounds like a big risk for everybody.

ANS:  It’s been difficult for people to get their tabs for a long time.  AND this is a public safety

issue.  Atty Okoronkwo did work in the traffic division for a long time.  If someone runs up a

string of these suspensions and enters a plea and pays the fine, the license is revoked.

Sarah Haglund, paralegal at  HCAO:  I worked at the DMV for several

years.    You can have expired tabs but still have current insurance.  If you have your insurance

on auto-pay or just pay from month to month, they don’t check the status of your tabs so the

coverage is intact.

QQ: What is the impact of lower traffic enforcement?   We see a lot of cars running red lights, not

stopping for stop signs and so on.  Those are a lot more serious than expired tabs.   It seems like

this would escalate, like if nothing happens for my expired tabs, what else can I get away with?

Atty Okoronkwo: To clarify:   Our office is prosecuting moving violations as they come

forward.  We are not going to prosecute based solely on how many fines a person has run up.

We’re trying to give a person an opportunity to address those penalties in court.   There is a

process known as “diversion”.   This gives people a chance to address these charges and fines so

they CAN maintain a valid license which is what we want people to do – and presumably [to hold]

insurance as well.

There is a lot of discussion in the office as well because we’re dealing with other misdemeanors,

with homelessness, with unpermitted camps that pop up in residential areas.   There are a lot of

related issues that are popping up.   We don’t have a good answer for how to deal with these

interrelated issues.   It’s not a crime to be homeless.   It can be a continuing issue for neighbors. 

QQ:  There is a continuing issue in Sheridan.  Homeless people are impacting a neighborhood

small business.   The owner is worried, and asked her to bring this issue up at PAC.  This is a small

business but he can’t keep these people away so that his customers can come in.   Who can make

this stop?

Atty Okoronkwo:  We are aware of this.  City and county agencies are offering all kinds of help

but the people involved do not want to take advantage of that.  St. Stephens Homeless Outreach

has made repeated offers there.   There is a group of officers led by Lt. Grant Snyder, and they’re

being turned down, too.   It seems that at the current level of staffing, the city can’t do more.   In the

past, we had a coordinated effort but that is no longer possible to do.  Shelters that the city used

to rely on are not available any more.


Emilie Quast, Board member
MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council (2-PAC)
Minneapolis MN 55418
e-quas@tc.umn.edu