2-PAC Oct. meeting, part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADDITIONAL TOPICS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

2PAC Oct. meeting, report, part 2

COURTWATCH.   City Attorney Nnamdi Okoronkwo presenting:  

UPDATES

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

AWAITING A HEARING

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

NO UPDATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct Advisory Council

Minneapolis MN 55418

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The multipart procedure is working well enough:

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

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

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

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

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

The group worked on five different strategies:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHANGES IN PROBATION PRACTICES

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

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

SERVICE TO COMMUNITY IS THE FIRST GOAL

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

SUPERVISION MODEL STARTS WITH THE COURT’S DECISIONS

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

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

SUPERVISION IN 2020 – THERE ARE SOME CHANGES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UTube recording is here:

Sept. report, part 2: Courtwatch and Precinct reports

COURTWATCH, Nnamdi Okoronkwo, Minneapolis City Attorney presenting.
UPDATES

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

AWAITING A HEARING

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

NO UPDATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August Report Part 2: Courtwatch and Precinct report

COURTWATCH:  Nnamdi Okoronkwo, City Attorney attended.   Most of the people on our Courtwatch list remain on the pushback schedule.   The case backlog is, of course, much larger than it was last month.  Cases are being scheduled on a severity ranking.   Felonies that can result in 365+ days of incarceration are at the top of the list.   These will include assault, domestic assault, DWI and more.    Last month Nnamdi pointed to 513 city cases in the previous 30 days, and that rate has not abated.   When courts figure out how to handle the overload, we will have a problem holding Courtwatch down to 20-25 names.     He announced that a new city attorney would likely be announced soon, and on August 14, Jim Rowader was named to the post.  https://www.startribune.com/city-council-approves-target-exec-as-next-minneapolis-city-attorney/572111902/

Updates:

  • Kelli Durow (aka Tamera Hoveland) 39 city contacts since 2017, 38 in the Second Pct.  Habitual trespassing on or near U of MN.  “Rule 20 Return” for 8 charges. Further charge 4th degree assault. Apparently she didn’t show for her 7/20 arraignment.  Now has a Bench Warrant.
  • Samuel Hasse in custody on $20K bail.  He has a 8/13 hearing on 3rd degree burglary, multiple trespass, disorderly conduct, probation violation, 5th degree assault, 4th degree damage to property, and other complaints)
  • Michael Zaccardi was released before our July meeting but committed 5th degree assault on 7/13.  First appearance is 8/12.

Awaiting a hearing

  • Richard  Breen – May, 2020: Richard Breen is out of custody and waiting for a Pretrial, which has been scheduled to 9/30/20 (Restorative Court)
  • Daniel Heacock – 08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct  – has been found incompetent in the past
  • Cody Horton has a review hearing rescheduled to 8/13 (MHC).
  • Christian Klockeman is a repeat trespasser around U of M and has a Felony threat of violence charge 11/11/19.  Hearing was rescheduled for 7/14/20 and now also has a 8/27/20 tracking hearing for treatment court triage.
  • Joshua Poplawski was released from the workhouse on 10/30/19.  He had received multiple trespass citations from 11/7/19, mostly in the U of MN area and received a Trespass Violate citation on 2/4/20.  On 12/22/19 a business at 9XX Washington Ave. reported a new trespass; under Rule of 6 (probation violation) he was booked in HCJ; first appearance was 7/16/20.  8/12/20 pretrial for a 3/20 trespass. 10/23/20 arraignment for 2/20 trespass.  10/1/20 arraignment on a 2/20 trespass.
  • Kirk Robledo is a frequent trespasser near the U of MN.  He was cited for  trespass on 10/2/19 and theft at Target Express in Dinkytown on 10/6/19. He will be in the workhouse until 9/2/20, but has 2 hearings on 10/6/20 (resched. from 6/23/20) for theft and trespass.
  • Leslie Wade has a hearing on 9/30 for three trespass charges.  He also has a 9/17 hearing in Robbinsdale for Diso. Conduct and a 10/8  hearing, also in Robbinsdale for 4th degree property damage.

Rule 20:  Per www.MNCourts.govRule 20 evaluations occur in criminal cases when there is a belief that a defendant may not be competent to proceed with the case or was not responsible at the time of the alleged offense because of mental illness or developmental disability. [applies to Durow’s situation]

No Updates:

  • Tanner DeWitt: Convicted of felony receiving stolen property  8/18/19; convicted of receiving stolen property on 9/26/19.  Dept of Correction,  release 9/8/20, probation to 2/5/21.
  • Johnny Hall — amended sentence   07/08/20 to serve 30 days, credit 2 days, serve as EHM — i.e. Electronic Home Monitoring.
  • Paula Heile remains on probation until 7/12/21. No further updates.
  • Miles Shaw was released from DOC on  4/27/20 and will be on parole to 9/25/20.

STATE OF THE PRECINCT – Inspector Todd Loining discussed the continuing issue in Marcy Holmes.   He urged people to pay attention to their  surroundings.

Marcy Holmes is a beautiful old neighborhood, with a vibrant business hub.   Because Dinkytown is heavily populated, parking is at a premium.  People walk to their destination and then back home.   But that lovely old area includes mature trees that arch gracefully over the streets, and almost totally block streetlight from the sidewalks.  

MPD, in cooperation with UMPD and MPRB-PD are making saturation patrols but the old warnings stand:  Stay alert.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Walk with friends.  

QUESTION:  There have been gas station robberies in NE Minneapolis.  The Inspector reported one of the robbers is in custody and two more have been identified.   Police are looking for them.

QUESTION: Criminal Sexual Contact  which began in Van Cleve Park and included kidnapping.   That is an MPRB-PD case and is still open. 
———————

I want to give an extra thank you to Cody Hoerning, for setting up our Zoom room and for keeping the CHAT window populated with URLS and other information.   I definitely can’t take notes AND do the housekeeping at the same time.  It’s the housekeeping (house-building?) that adds so much to a Zoom meeting.  Cody: Thank You!
If people want to watch the recording, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdatjWDmQfk

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

August report, Part 1 Burglary Prevention

2-PAC held its second Zoom meeting at 6PM on August 10, 31 attenders.
Nicholas Juarez, Crime Prevention Specialist for the 2nd Precinct, south of Broadway, presented  “Burglary Prevention” guidelines.  

Burglary is  breaking into another person’s home, garage, or business to commit a crime.   A burglary may be Forced, when someone breaks a door or window to get in.   A burglary may be Unforced, when the criminal enters through an unlocked door or window.

Nick made the point that most burglaries in NE Mpls are Forced.   Most burglaries in SE Mpls are Unforced.   Please don’t make it easy for someone to harm you.  

DOOR SECURITY – Generally when someone forces a door open, it is not the lock that breaks, but the door jamb, which is made of soft wood.   There is usually a gap between the door jamb and the stud opening, so the trick to security  is to install a high security strike plate 7″ to 10″ tall, with at least four screw holes. Use screws long enough to go through the gap and penetrate the building stud behind the door jamb several inches.   The screws should be at least 3″ long, longer is better.

Doors that have glass less than 40″ [an arm’s length]  from the lock need special attention.   Consider: 

  • Double or triple pane glass
  • Shatter resistant window film  (The glass will craze but not fall out.)
  • Double cylinder locks (These need keys to lock and unlock from both sides. These are a hazard for quick fire evacuation)
  • Consider replacing glass with plexiglass, which is stronger.

Window Security –  During warm weather, unlocked windows are often breached by cutting a screen or pushing in an air conditioner or fan.    If you are using an A.C., bolt it to the woodwork for security.

The easiest way to secure a double hung window is to “pin” it, with a removable wooden peg that goes through both window sash frames. The window can’t be opened unless the peg is removed.

A  second method is to install a stop that only permits the window to be opened 6″ or less.   You can buy two-part brass window sash attachments at any hardware store for $2.75 for a 2-pac.    Another method is to attach a track filler strip to the frame above the lower sash, 6″ shorter than the upper sash.  The stop can be painted to match your woodwork.   Glue velcro strips to one side of the filler strip and to the inside of the window frame.

There are also many selections if you have sliding side by side windows or doors, all available at Menard’s, Home Depot, Ace, or any other well stocked hardware store.

Windows are another place to consider security window film.  This is available in various widths, mils [thickness] and with added features.  [EQ: Check for pricing and locations with a quick Google search.   I found one brand selling for about $1.25 a square foot but prices vary with vendors and size of purchase.]

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design 
A first step in burglary prevention is to make your house less inviting to a burglar.   You can change your yard to slow down someone approaching your house,  and to make sure they can’t hide from you or from passers-by.
Fencing — There are many kinds and styles of fencing depending on your needs.   The one fence that makes trouble is the solid, opaque fence.  That privacy fence gives you privacy in your yard, but it also hides a burglar from being seen by your neighbors or possibly by you.
Landscaping:   Shrubs should be 18-24″ away from all entry points.  Hedges should be trimmed 6″ below windows and trimmed to 3′ tall or shorter.   Tree canopies should be trimmed to 7′ from the ground.  Thorny plants are good deterrents in dark corners, in front of windows, and especially in window wells or  near egress windows.  [EQ. A number of my older relatives often planted prairie roses in front of vulnerable windows.   Gooseberries showed up often too. Both offered site-security, with a bonus of lovely roses or jelly.]
Lighting:   Lighting is recommended on all doors and entryways, windows, driveways, sidewalks and parking areas.   Consider using dusk to dawn sensors for these lights.  Be sure your house numbers are lit, and make sure the fixtures are not easily accessible so a burglar can’t just unscrew the bulb.
Garages:   Half of all burglarized garages were left unlocked.  If you are in a different part of the yard OR doing a noisy chore, lock the door.   If you have a service door, secure it as well as you would secure the front door of your house.  Use a solid deadbolt secured with 3+” screws described above.   If you don’t use the service door regularly, a padlock will keep people out.  Less high tech is to just move a heavy item in front of the door. Overhead doors can be secured with automatic garage door opener or a padlock.  Never leave your garage door opener in your car and be sure you know how to change the code on your remote if it gets lost or stolen. 

Do a perimeter check:   Walk around your house and look for dark areas or items behind which someone could hide.   Those are issues you can probably fix on your own. 

Nick responded to a question about cameras. He suggested that ring cameras take a good picture, high resolution.   Some can even photograph in color at night.   You do have to make sure that your lighting will support the system and not mess up the image. 

 He pointed out that you can now set up your own system with gear from Costco or Best Buy or you can buy into a service that will set up their gear and do some or most of the response for you.   A Costco system can be set to alert your phone or computer so if you see that a cat is acting up or one of your kids forgot to enter the code, you’ll know what is going on.   In contrast, if a security service gets an alert, they’ll first try to contact you, and if you’re out of touch, they immediately contact the police.

Someone asked about pages that look like MPD crime reports, but they are not actually MPD.   Those are reports taken directly from police scanners.   They are Facebook pages.  The problem with them is that the FB posters have no way to follow through and discover what the officers found when they got there.  All they can report is that someone made a call.  Maybe the officers found nothing.

MPD  has an online police report [EQ See below]  There is also raidsonline.com [Regional Analysis and Information Sharing, launched in 2014, a good explanation here:  https://www.southwestjournal.com/news/2014/02/mpd-unveils-new-online-crime-mapping-tool/ ]  MPD Crime Maps records filed police reports; you can look up and read the report and actually find out what the officers found. 

Personal Safety   There are a lot of Theft From Person incidents happening, particularly in Marcy Holmes.   The usual cautions are all necessary: be aware of your surroundings, use a cross body bag or use both straps of your backpack, make eye contact with anyone who approaches you and look for identifying features, hide your phone.    Personal protective devices:  Dick’s Sporting Goods has a siren alarm (130-140 decibel).   Pepper sprays are fine but you must have them in your hand and ready to use, not at the bottom of your backpack; note that some shoot a stream and some a cloud, which act differently.  Some come with a bottle of saline solution so you can practice to see how the spray works, AND how the spray is affected by wind.  As Nick said, we live in Minnesota; there WILL be wind.  It’s hard to plan in the moment, but you don’t want that spray blowing straight back into your face.
————————————————

EQ: Sign up for MPD Online Police Report info: 

MPD issues a Crime Alert when we notice a crime pattern. The crime pattern may be specific to geographic area, a time period, or specific method of crime.  To enroll in the MPD Crime Alert system, http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/crimealert/police_crimealert_signup

To view crime maps around your area and to sign up for email crime alerts – http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/statistics/index.htm.  You may also access information on police stops, crime data, arrest data, use of force, and other information. 

To contact the 2nd Precinct’s Crime Prevention Specialists,

July report, part 2

COURTWATCH:  Nnamdi Okoronkwo, City Attorney, and Holly Ihrke, H.C. Probation Officer attended.   They confirmed that H.C. is trying to get people out of the tight quarters that is the HCJ and have moved people to Electronic Monitoring and other methods to keep people safe.  Some people have moved to tents in the parks, but those  sites have social workers on site regularly.   The courts are still charging cases, some 513 city cases in the last 30 days and more in Hennepin County.   At this point, the courts are figuring out how they’re going to handle this overload (and still keep people safe).  Thus, we still have no additions to the Courtwatch list, and there will be a problem  holding it down to 20 or 25 names when the cases finally start being processed. 

Updates:

  • Johnny Hall — amended sentence   07/08/20 to serve 30 days, credit 2 days, serve as EHM — i.e. Electronic Home Monitoring.  (last month: was discharged from probation 4/19, but charged with 5th degree drug poss. and DWI on 1/16/20 and  pretrial moved to 6/30/20.
  • Samuel Hasse  new charge on 6/13/20, for susp. burglary, 7/20/20 pretrial, in custody on $20K bail.  (last month: hearing sched. for 6/17/20 for trespass, disorderly conduct, 5th degree assault, 4th degree damage to property, and other complaints)
  • Joshua Poplawski was released from the workhouse on 10/30/19.  He had received multiple trespass citations from 11/7/19, mostly in the U of MN area and received a Trespass Violate citation on 2/4/20.  On 12/22/19 a business at 9XX Washington Ave. reported a new trespass; under Rule of 6 (probation violation) he was booked in HCJ; first appearance was 7/16/20.  8/12/20 pretrial for a 3/20 trespass. 10/23/20 arraignment for 2/20 trespass.  10/1/20 arraignment on a 2/20 trespass.

Awaiting a hearing:

  • Richard  Breen – May, 2020: Richard Breen is out of custody and waiting for a Pretrial, which has been scheduled to 9/30/20 (Restorative Court)
  • Kelli Durow (aka Tamera Hoveland) 39 city contacts since 2017, 38 in the Second Pct.  Habitual trespassing on or near U of MN.  “Rule 20 Return” for 8 charges. Further charge 4th degree assault.   Arraignment on 7/20/20 [SEE RULE 20 BELOW]
  • Daniel Heacock – 08/11/20 hearing for theft and check forgery in the 1st Precinct  – has been found incompetent in the past
  • Cody Horton has a review hearing 7/23/20 (MHC) triggered by a misdemeanor tamper M/V.
  • Christian Klockeman is a repeat trespasser around U of M and has a Felony threat of violence charge 11/11/19.  Hearing was rescheduled for 7/14/20 and now also has a 8/27/20 tracking hearing for treatment court triage.
  • Kirk Robledo is a frequent trespasser near the U of MN.  He was cited for  trespass on 10/2/19 and theft at Target Express in Dinkytown on 10/6/19. He will be in the workhouse until 9/2/20, but has 2 hearings on 10/6/20 (resched. from 6/23/20) for theft and trespass.

Rule 20:  Per www.MNCourts.govRule 20 evaluations occur in criminal cases when there is a belief that a defendant may not be competent to proceed with the case or was not responsible at the time of the alleged offense because of mental illness or developmental disability.  

No Updates:

  • Tanner DeWitt: Convicted of Felony receiving stolen property  8/18/19; convicted of receiving stolen property on 9/26/19.  Dept of Correction,  release 9/8/20, probation to 2/5/21.
  • Paula Heile remains on probation until 7/12/21. No further updates.
  • Miles Shaw was released from DOC on  4/27/20 and will be on parole to 9/25/20.
  • Leslie Wade received 3 trespass citations in the U of MN area; he has a pretrial on 6/9/20 after 2 hearings in Robbinsdale for Disorderly Conduct (5/14/20) and 4th degree damage to property (5/21/20)  Hearing was on 7/10 but his MNCIS has not yet been updated.
  • Michael Zaccardi has been released and will be on probation to 4/5/22.

PRECINCT CRIME ANALYSIS (from MPD maps)
Lt. Christie Nelson attended, reporting that Central Avenue is still Central Avenue.  The case she’s happiest to report on is the serial rapist, who was identified thanks to the brave women who came forward with enough information to identify the suspect.  

The Second Precinct has had some retirements.  Starting July 19, Lt Nelson will be leading both Mid-Watch and Dog-Watch.  

Asked about the Third Precinct staff, she reported that they are staffed and answering calls from temporary quarters at the Convention Center.  Plans are still being discussed for both mid and long term location. 

Crime in the first half of July remains chiefly property crimes, especially theft of bikes, theft from cars, and burglaries.   Few reported crimes are robbery of person,  but it’s happening.   Trusted advice suggests if confronted by someone who wants your stuff, it’s going to be more helpful to  give up the phone or backpack and focus on trying to spot an identifying characteristic.   I’ve heard an officer say (at 2-PAC) that shoes are better to concentrate on than clothing because people generally have more shirts to change into than shoes. 

Bike theft remains a Southeast-focus issue but it’s spread into near NE Minneapolis, through Ward 3.   Assault has been rising in both Wards 1 and 3, but is still low compared with the rest of the city.
We ended the meeting with speculation of how many resources are currently available to citizens and to the MPD.  We also touched on how policing may be forced to change in the future thanks to Covid-19’s impact on budgets, future economic issues, and other sources of impact — note the comment in Courtwatch above that the HCJ needed to have its population reduced to avoid increasing Covid-19 infections and is moving to electronic monitoring and other strategies. This could be a good  topic for a future discussion.


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

July Report, part 1

Biking from North to Northeast Minneapolis:  (and why you can’t do that yet)

The Grand Rounds trails will take you on a 51-mile trip to every part of our city using paved, maintained paths, many created for the bikeway, but… There’s never been a good connection for riders between North and Northeast Minneapolis to the Mississippi or to each other. That is changing. With a little bit of push, we’ll have the NorthEast segment completed in the near future. When that’s done, East-Siders will be able to ride from the Diagonal, past the Quarry, over the river to the stunning Greenway Overlook and then past sculpture gardens and art installations and on to Theodore Wirth Park–a total of 4.6 miles.  

At the July 2-PAC meeting (via Zoom), Eastsider Dan Miller, aka MplsBikerDan introduced the ALMOST completed Great Northern Greenway. The only other off-street shared trail across Northeast and North Minneapolis and northern half of the city is the Grand Rounds.  

From the Great Northern Greenway Facebook page

The 18th Avenue NE reconstruction between Johnson St. and Stinson Parkway moved into high gear this summer. The trail between Johnson to Stinson is still open as far as the Post Office. Completion is planned later this year with improvements along the trail and to the Johnson, Arthur and Stinson intersections. This is a highly used trail by pedestrians and bicyclists so please be thoughtful sharing the trail. This section of the Great Northern Greenway allows users to access the Diagonal Trail, Stinson Parkway, the Quarry Shopping Center, the 22nd Ave Bike Blvd and the Northeast Athletic Fields.

How the plans came about: 

The current bridges for bikes and pedestrians, the Lowry and the Broadway bridges, are over a mile apart, but a little used BNSF railroad bridge lies between the two. With the Great Northern Greenway Overlook scheduled to open soon on the west side of the river, residents need access from both sides of the river so we can all enjoy this stunning overlook.  The BNSF bridge currently carries freight about once a week to one west side business, a concrete layer.  It’s possible that this freight could be delivered to the Canadian Pacific/Soo rail line, which could free up the bridge for a pedestrian-bicycle crossing. 

The BNSF bridge used to carry a second rail line, but that was removed years ago.  That empty 14’ width is enough to allow both freight and bike paths to share the bridge as an alternative design. If that idea doesn’t get a go-ahead, there is a wide enough right-of-way to build a cantilever extension for bike paths. 

Amenities installed, ready, and proposed along 26th Ave North:

  • INSTALLED: Three sculpture installations are in place at Theodore Wirth Park, Nellie Stone Johnson, and Fairview Park (2018)
  • READY: The Great Northern Greenway Overlook, a signature project of the MPRB is scheduled to open this year.   This huge walk-on sculpture “overlooking” the river gorge is pictured & described here:  https://mplsparksfoundation.org/Initiative/26th-ave-n-trail-link-pier/
  • Nice Ride stations are located at Fairview Park and Theodore Wirth Parkway/26th Ave Intersection.
  • MISSING:  a link to the BNSF bridge (proposed between Ole Olson Park and the W River Road Trail)

Amenities installed, ready and proposed along 18th Ave NE: 

  • INSTALLED AND IN PROCESS: 18th Avenue NE shared trail is being improved   between Stinson and Johnson including intersection improvements at Johnson, to the Post Office entrance, at Arthur Street, and at Stinson.
  • Nice Ride stations located at 18th & Monroe, 22nd & California, and 22nd & Central.  
  • MISSING: There is a trail gap between Marshall and California scheduled for 2022 which will replace the 16th Avenue detour. This connects the trail to the East Bank Trail along the river, and to the future bridge crossing.  
  • MISSING, NOT SCHEDULED: There is a trail gap Washington between the Monroe & 18th Ave NE intersection. Two routes have been studied. One uses 18th Avenue NE between Washington and Jefferson to Monroe.  Another is a tunnel under the railroad tracks, which would create a direct connection. Some of the gaps are “challenging,” so some people call the 18th Avenue trek, the Trek to Nowhere.

The Great Northern Greenway Task Force has been pushing to finish the trail since 2017, continuing efforts started by the Mississippi Riverfront Partnership and many other volunteers and organizations over 20 years.   

The Great Northern Greenway Task Force has participated in NE Minneapolis Open Streets events, 2017-2019 (no Open Streets 2020 due to Covid-19). Members also participate in Discovery Rides organized by Slow Roll Minneapolis and Biking Northeast. 

Check their Facebook page, sign up for their newsletter, or ask the Task Force to send a speaker to your neighborhood meetings.

You’ll find up to date maps and very brief progress reports on the Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/northmplsgreenways/

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation reports and future plans with a lot of Overlook promotion is here:  https://mplsparksfoundation.org/Initiative/26th-ave-n-trail-link-pier/ and here: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/news/2019/06/18/great-northern-greenway-overlook-design-will-open-north-minneapolis-to-the-river-through-a-dynamic-new-riverfirst-park-feature/

Biker Dan is waiting to lead a Slow Roll bike trek to inspect and explore the 18th Avenue trail across Northeast Minneapolis. If you are interested, contact Biker Dan at mplsbikerdan@gmail.com or Emilie at e-quas@tc.umn.edu or sign up for more information at the Great Northern Greenway Task Force Facebook page. Biker Dan will be watching the Covid-19 statistics and the calendar and will start offering possible dates and will find out if his contact at Nice Ride can coordinate for the trek.  

If you want to see what’s going on but don’t want to bike for any reason, Dan will set up a trek so non-bikers can drive to pre-arranged meet up places to learn about the trail.

And, do be aware that scooters are also welcome on the bike paths. Perhaps there are enough people on scooters to have their own group–contact Dan, FFI.

EQ note:  I didn’t see this until after the meeting, but Hennepin County was awarded Gold Status by the League of American Bicyclists’ list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses.  Star Tribune, “The Drive” column by Tim Harlow, July 13, 2020, page A7, column 5 at the end.

June report, Part 1

We scheduled a speaker to highlight a Minneapolis recreation program this month.   It became clear, though, that  people are still processing the impact of the virus, the death of George Floyd, and the aftermath. We will be able to look ahead, hopefully soon, but people are not there yet.

If you’ve followed the 2-PAC programming over the last several years, you may have noticed a progression of information about  social and health resources available to all residents of Minneapolis or Hennepin County.   The programs in that series were deliberately chosen because it became apparent that too few people knew about them or knew how to approach the providers. 
I asked some of our previous presenters to list which of the many services available they’d offer to  those of us who are beginning to feel overwhelmed by confinement, by news reports, by illness in our city or in our family.
Here’s what they suggested:

  • Wellness in The Woods Warmline 5pm-9am 1-844-739-6369
  • Vets4Warriors Warmline 24/7 855-838-8255
  • Samaritan Hotline 24/7 212-673-3000 and 1-877-870-4673
  • MH Minnesota Warmline Available Monday-Saturday 5pm-10pm 651-288-0400 877-404-3190

People with special concerns, please check the following:

  • LGBTQ+ Crisis Line 24/7 1-866-488-7386
  • National Suicide Prevention Line 24/7 1-800-273-8255
  • Sexual Violence Center Crisis Line 24/7 612-871-5111
  • Day One Domestic Violence Crisis Line 24/7 1-866-223-1111
  • NAMI Parent Warmline (provide resources for family affected by mental illness) 651-645-2948 Parents.resources@namimn.org
  • Text for Life Text MN to 741741

If you or someone near you is having a crisis,  call COPE, 24 /7 at 612.596.1223.  The child crisis line is 612.348.2233.  If you’re not sure, call them and they’ll help you sort it out. 

If you are wondering how to handle everything  that’s going on, or just want to talk to someone who can help you understand your feelings, the folks in the groups listed above will protect your privacy and offer informed, compassionate suggestions.    Please call or email them.
2-PAC will be back in harness in July, likely on Zoom, celebrating one of the things that makes Minneapolis a wonderful place to live: our award winning bike trails.
While we’re on pause, think about joining a bike trek on one of the trails that won a “Best” award.  The treks will happen  (with appropriate health-protecting practices) before cold weather settles in, and as Covid-19 allows.  They’ll be led by people who know the trails — no guesswork for you.  Contact me for a tentative sign-up or to ask questions. e-quas@tc.umn.edu

June report, Part 2

Courtwatch Updades

Updates:

  • Joshua Poplawski was released from the workhouse on 10/30/19.  He had received multiple trespass citations from 11/7/19, mostly in the U of MN area and received a Trespass Violate citation on 2/4/20.  On 12/22/19 a business at 9XX Washington Ave. reported a new trespass; under Rule of 6 (probation violation) he was booked in HCJ; first appearance is 7/16/20 

Awaiting a hearing:

  • Richard  Breen – May, 2020: Richard Breen is out of custody and waiting for a Pretrial, scheduled for 6/17/20 (Restorative Court)
  • Kelli Durow (aka Tamera Hoveland) 39 city contacts since 2017, 38 in the Second Pct.  Habitual trespassing on or near U of MN.  “Rule 20 Return” for 8 charges. Further charge 4th degree assault.   Arraignment on 7/20/20 [SEE RULE 20 BELOW]
  • Samuel Haase  hearing now on 6/17/20 for trespass, disorderly conduct, 5th degree assault, 4th degree damage to property, and other complaints.
  • Johnny Hall was discharged from probation 4/19, but charged with 5th degree drug poss. and DWI on 1/16/20 and  pretrial moved to 6/30/20.
  • Daniel Heacock was recommitted on 2/4/20 and has a hearing on 8/11/20 re: check forgery
  • Cody Horton has a review hearing 6/18/20 (MHC) triggered by a misdemeanor tamper M/V.
  • Christian Klockeman is a repeat trespasser around U of M and has a Felony threat of violence charge 11/11/19.  He is now scheduled for 7/10//20.
  • Kirk Robledo is a frequent trespasser near the U of MN.  He was cited for  trespass on 10/2/19 and theft at Target Express in Dinkytown on 10/6/19. He will be in the workhouse until 9/2/20, but has 2 hearings on 6/23/20 for theft and trespass.
  • Leslie Wade received 3 trespass citations in the U of MN area; he has a pretrial on 6/9/20 after 2 hearings in Robbinsdale for Disorderly Conduct (5/14/20) and 4th degree damage to property (5/21/20)

Rule 20:  Per www.MNCourts.govRule 20 evaluations occur in criminal cases when there is a belief that a defendant may not be competent to proceed with the case or was not responsible at the time of the alleged offense because of mental illness or developmental disability.  

No Updates:

  • Tanner DeWitt: Convicted of Felony receiving stolen property  8/18/19; convicted of receiving stolen property on 9/26/19.  Dept of Correction,  release 9/8/20, probation to 2/5/21.
  • Paula Heile remains on probation until 7/12/21. No further updates.
  • Miles Shaw was released from DOC on  4/27/20 and will be on parole to 9/25/20.
  • Michael Zaccardi has been released and will be on probation to 4/5/22.

CURRENT CRIME TRENDS

Overall, crime in the 2nd precinct is down since May 15 in contrast with the early May report.  Marcy-Holmes is still seeing more crime than the rest of the Second Precinct, but while incidents still follow the main traffic pattern (University and Central heading north, East River Road and Prospect Park in the other directions) there are considerably fewer reported bike thefts.  In comparison, theft from auto, theft of auto parts (catalytic converters?), theft of autos, burglaries and robberies  are now prominent. 

I’m pleased to report that the interactive crime maps are now functioning for me.   See for yourself at   http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/statistics/index.htm

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