Saturday, June 5, 2010

JNS BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Details on Minneapolis Crime-Fighting Strategies

Post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

After the Hawthorne Huddle on violent crime issues ended (click here, and here for previous JNS coverage), I went up to Mayor Rybak to thank him for his work on this issue. And that’s when a rather interesting conversation took place. Since handouts were scarce, he gave me some of the handouts that came his way. And then he asked if I wanted to join him for the media debrief.

Even though I was taking video and notes, I was still in “Housing Director mode.” “Well, I’m not sure where I’d fit in with the panelists and I don’t want to just jump in front of a camera. The panelists and other residents should be the focus.”

And that’s when the Mayor told me that I should be a part of the media debrief because of Johnny Northside. That’s right, is considered MEDIA. Unfortunately, I had to decline because I had to be sure I made it back to Michigan in time for my younger brother’s high school graduation.

But the information I was given describes the five strategies in a much more detailed fashion. It begins…

(Editorial notes: I added some hyphens and commas in ways that I felt made the grammar more clear. The document is otherwise unedited. Also, I wrote this article initially with no live links. Those have been added to give readers avenues to find out more information.)

Strategy #1: Continued focus on targeted and intelligence-led policing strategies


1. Rapid data analysis and deployment of resources. We feel it is important to have day-to-day intelligence that allows us to modify strategies based on current events. We have maintained a good capacity to be able to add patrol resources to problematic areas – such as SOD Patrol, Gang Enforcement Team (GET), Violent Offenders Task Force, Directed Patrol, Community Response Teams, and more.

2. Putting “cops on dots.” The overriding theme of analysis-led policing such as New York COMSTAT or Minneapolis Police Department’s Computer Optimized Deployment Focus on Results (CODEFOR) is to try and put officers where the problems are happening. The presence and visibility of police officers prevents crime and makes people feel safe. We try to stay visible in those areas by doing traffic enforcement, beats, and adding additional personnel for saturation patrols.

3. In addition to working crime patterns, our newest analytical techniques focus on areas of specific crime and active suspects in order to “predict” where they will be active next – predictive analysis. Our new Strategic Information Crime Management Unit (SICM) identifies such areas and active individuals. In addition to SICM, we will soon be opening and operating a Strategic Information Center which will have analysts, who monitor today’s incidents, research our data, and give responding officers real-time intelligence for dealing with that incident or to take follow-up actions.

4. Every shooting incident is assigned an Investigative Coordinator. That investigator works with our undercover, patrol, and intelligence units to immediately follow up on leads and try and stop any retaliatory shooting(s).

5. Coordinated response on violent crime between Investigations, Precincts, SOD, and SICM. Such efforts include saturation patrols, sweeps, and other special operations. They are coordinated with SOD Patrol, precinct CRT, the Gang Enforcement Team, Probation, MAD DAD’S, and others to try and make sure we have extra capacity to deal with busy areas.

Strategy #2: Targeted efforts on known violent offenders


1. The MPD Violent Crime Offender Task Force (VOTF) is a group of MPD, St. Paul, FBI, and State Officers that focuses longer-term investigations on individual and groups of violent offenders. Several such efforts are in progress and we expect very good results. Historically, these efforts have crippled our active gangs. This effort is now a FBI Safe Streets Operation. Virtually all those arrested through this effort are sentenced to federal prison for ten years or more.

2. The MPD also compiles lists of current suspected offenders of violent crime similar to the CLEAR lists we have used to track chronic misdemeanants. The list is supported by dossiers regarding the individuals. The information includes past crimes, incidents of being shot or shot at and not cooperating with the police, and similar items. They are posted in all police roll call rooms and distributed to all members of the department.

3. MPD consistently works with the City Attorney and Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to use this list to prioritize that these offenders are held on bail, prosecuted, and sentenced.

4. The MPD and County Attorney will met to develop a strategy to work with the bench on the following:

a. The scope and negative consequences of downward departures from presumptive sentences over prosecution objection that is occurring in Hennepin County compared to other counties.

b. The scope and deleterious effect of dramatically reducing bail requirements on violent repeat offenders.

c. The harm caused by delayed execution of sentences – allowing an offender time to get [his] affairs in order before serving time.

d. The harm from the bench’s hesitancy to revoke probation when an offender re-offends.

Strategy #3: Greater focus on gun seizures and preventing gun violence.


1. Continue to encourage and measure vehicle and person stops in areas where gun violence has occurred or is likely. (Reported at weekly CODEFOR mtgs.)

2. Offer patrol officers clear and concise guidelines for conducting legally valid vehicle searches (Currently complicated for vehicle searches – publish quick reference guide).

3. Relentless follow-up on all gun arrests and prosecutions.

4. Analysis of the origins of weapons with ATF.

5. Prioritize DNA analysis on all gun arrests (to assist in rapid prosecution).

6. Cooperative effort with the US Attorney’s Office to ensure that all eligible gun arrests are prosecuted at the Federal level.

7. Seek internal or external funding opportunities for targeted overtime to increase uniform presence in areas where gun violence has occurred or is likely.

Strategy #4: Continued emphasis on the Blueprint for Reducing Youth Violence


1. Continue successful juvenile efforts such as curfew enforcement, JCAT, and community diversion efforts.

2. Using School Resource Officers (SRO’s) during summer months to work beats in near north and south parks and other high-traffic areas.

3. Work with the Park Police to better safeguard our parks citywide.

4. Stress importance of curfew compliance to communities as a safety strategy for their children.

Strategy #5: Increased community engagement and support for community-led efforts to reduce violent crime.


1. Continue collaboration and timely updates of Neighborhood Policing Plans. We’ll work with them to modify plans if necessary for these strategy needs.

2. Continue partnership and support with MADDADS.

3. Encourage and support community-driven Anti-Violence campaigns (Bishop Howell).

4. Continue our crime prevention education with CPS’s and police.


The following is a recent example (Memorial Weekend) of the Northside detail aimed at reducing violence and taking guns.

- Lt. Lindbeck went with VJ Smith of MADDADS and spoke directly to Derrick Martin’s family (homicide victim) to calm them, explain what we were doing, and to prevent retaliation

- Community contacts (clergy) have called with relevant information due to past relationships and trust that has been established after recent incidents.

- The Gang Enforcement Team has been working effectively in two ways: 1) street suppression making contact with gang members through enforcement and consensual contacts, and 2) using informant information to make targeted stops aimed at finding and recovering guns.

- The Violent Crime Apprehension Team has been working hard to apprehend individuals who are identified in this series of incidents and for whom PC Pickups have been issued.

- SICM – Intel (Off. Emily Lehner) is getting updated intelligence out to everyone quickly, accurately, and with suggested actions when warranted.

- Our Community Response Teams and precinct-directed patrol are focusing their enforcement efforts on known hangouts for the Taliban, 19’ers, and Stick-Up Boys.

- The Park Police have talked directly to the Park Directors at Farview, North Commons, and Folwell to let them know what is happening and put them on alert to call if they see pending problems.

- The Special Operations Division Patrol has been helping with directed patrol in the areas we have identified and they have also helped in answering 911 calls (it has been very busy).

- We have been coordinating with Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park because they share our problems with these same gangs.

- Homicide is getting info to us as quickly as they can. This includes information on addresses needing extra patrol because the resident(s) are cooperating with the case.

The above effort netted several arrests including seven handguns.

This is the end of the document provided to me. JNS readers, feel free to weigh in.


Anonymous said...

Who is the hottie to the right of RT? The readers right that is.

Ryback Crackers said...

How about we give all felons a lottery ticket that is a winner. Then have them go to the Metrodome to claim their prize. The prize is a loaded shotgun and the doors are locked once everyone is inside. Then whomever is left in two weeks is bused back to Chicago.

Anonymous said...

I had asked one question and I think there were one or two more questions in the comments of that other post on this same topic. Jeff, can you please answer the questions? Thanks.

Folwell Fox said...

Very well. It looks good on paper. I hope they can keep on top of these issues and tactics, and produce the needed results.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Anon 11:17, I saw those questions and I have every intention of giving my perspective on them. However, I have been on vacation and spending time with my family this weekend. My available time for blogging has been rather limited, so I decided to focus on getting as much actual content out there. It's more important to get straight-up content on this blog than my own opinions.

(Comment sent from Eagle River, WI.)

Depending on travel time, I may not be able to get to this until after work tomorrow. But I do want to respond.

Anonymous said...

In the back of a van they beat him.
Grown men enforcing the law,
on a teenager who has had to fend for himself,
since he was eight and probably more.
They beat him to teach him a lesson,
that violence doesn't pay!
They beat him so he would respect them,
through fear he might not do it again.
The beat him in a van,
parked out the way of prying eyes
because they are the law and they can do what they like.
Or so they like to think.
They beat him and his resentment grew.
They beat him and his anger brewed.
They beat him and revenge he planned,
respect was lost and won't be found.
They beat him and they will again,
or someone else to show their hate.
Of the scum that scourges our pleasant land,
but in doing so they are the same.
No different, no far far worse.
As they are the ones that we should trust,
look up to and be inspired by.
Yet I'm not sure that we can,
whilst this goes on in the back of a van.

Yvonne said...

RT Rybak has the fire of Obama in his eyes! That's the look Obama gets when he kills more civilians in Pakistan with Predator drones or has someone tortured in one of his secret prisons around the world. Rybak/Obama 2012?

Johnny Northside said...

Now can you whip up a little diddy about thugs who tear down neighborhoods by selling dope on corners?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Live links have been added.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

After all I've posted on the topic, finally I'm weighing in with a comment of my own.

The one question I have that hasn't been answered to my satisfaction is this: WHY the increase in violent crime? This isn't just statistically the same crime only relocated. Things are backsliding. So why?

Whether it's a small group of violent offenders, as the city claims, or the economy/lack of jobs/no youth programs as some people claim, or alien space rays a la the Twilight Zone episode The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, I still haven't heard a good explanation as to why things are different this year than last.

In fairness, since I had to duck out early on Thursday, I didn't have a chance to ask the Mayor or Chief of Police directly.

If the violent offenders were on the streets last year, why are they worse now? By many accounts the economy is better this year, so how or why would it be a factor in crime being worse this year? Do we really have so much less in youth program resources from last year to this year to be statistically relevant? Have the aliens got better space ray technology?

And if last year was the statistical anomaly, then I'm still left wondering what was different from last year vs. other years.

If we're going to really combat crime this year and work to make sure future years don't see similar levels of violence, I think we need to have a better understanding of why things are the way they are.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would help is we made profiling legal? Let the cops decide who looks like they are worth a 2nd look. Let them decide whether it's dress or whatever and stop complaining if one group gets pulled over more often.

Shamika said...


Do you mean harass the black people more?

Anonymous said...

Would it lower the crime rate if that was the case? If you in the back of your mind say yes then there ya go. If you say no and believe it then more power to ya.

Anonymous said...

Shamika, just the ones that need it. And you do know what I'm talkin' bout, Willis.

Connie said...

Thoughts on why things are worse this year: Gang Turf Wars. Each shooting brings retaliation and the cycles continues. More and more smaller gangs are being established and these guys are more vicious than the last crop.

Have you noticed how the thugs are getting younger, too? 9 and 10 years old now and they're selling weed and toting a gun. Schools are seeing an increase in violent students hence all the alternative schools.

Word on the street is this will be the bloodiest summer ever. And it looks like we're off to a pretty good start.

It's a mentality that is difficult, if not impossible to change. Many of these thugs were raised by thugs who were raised by thugs. The usual crime fighting strategies aren't going to work on that mentality.

You can get guns off the street and they'll continue to break into homes to steal them. You can raise penalities and pull them over more but that only slows them down a little.

Some of these kids didn't even have ONE parent to count on so they get sucked into a gang.

And they start making babies much younger and like bunnies. Those babies are destined for the same crappy life.

I don't know what the answer is but law enforcement can't solve this alone.

Anonymous said...

Why do you bother to publish comments from "Shamika"?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:21 is obviously a wannabe writer and his writing reflects a person who had no business quitting their day job if they they even have a job at all.The topic of your elementary rant is laughable.Poor criminal gets his ass beat because he or she thinks they are above the law.Poor criminal just robbed and raped a relative and HIS resentment grows.Punk ass cannot fight so he pulls out a gun and shoots innocent kids leaving parties because,well, these sorry ass derelicts can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag.Your "Poetry" sucks and so does whoever penned it for you while you were away wiping the crocodile tears from your eyes.No more lame excuses 2:21.Why don't you pen a "POEM" about the domestic terror your beloved bangers like to inflict on neighborhoods across this country? Shamika, buy a megabus ticket and take your fake ass back to Deadpatch Illinois.Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that reality is an accumulation of unrelated events made preposterous by our futile attempts to define it or give it order.... and the reality of 2:21 is to,of course, blame it on the law enforcement community.Resentment? Alot of self-righteous indignation to say the least.BOAT has alot more in store so stay tuned solks,i mean folks.

Chong said...

As an asian man, I am aware that black people and people wearing white t-shirts are more apt to commit crime. I am in favor of racial profiling as long as it promotes diversity and safety in the community.

Patrick said...

Maybe we should force everyone to turn in their guns so there would be no violence. The city inspectors could go door to door to collect any guns and note who the owners were.

James Nelson said...

1st: I gotta say that I appreciate Shamika's comments.

2nd: Thanks Johnny for this great info.

3rd: Why the increase?: My best friends, all of which are mostly from Illinois and Indiana, think it may be a spill over from Chicago's current state of affairs (sending out the nationa guard...). Just a theory but thought provoking...

Maggie said...

I understand many writer's frustration with 2:21's 'Bleeding Heart' comment. But can't many of you see both sides here?

This is a community. Stories are told and retold. Crime occurs, residents of Minneapolis have come to develop quite the negative view of the North Minneapolis community. The same thing happens within much of the community in NoMi. Someone gets their ass beat by the cops (whether warranted or not) and the cycle begins. Trust and respect is lost, and believe's not just the "thugs who tear down neighborhoods by selling dope on corners" who lose trust in law enforcement, it's their cousins, uncles and friends. The crime fighting strategies are admirable, but what law enforcement needs to understand is that a relationship needs to be built.

Not just between law enforcement and those they are employed to serve and protect, but amongst neighbors as well. Racial profiling is the last thing we need...can anyone say labeling theory?