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, johnnynorthside.com 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.