Mayor Rybak, Chief Dolan Report on Crime Strategy
Call for Legislators to Support Public Safety, State Aide and Property Tax Reform
Feb. 6, 2007 (MINNEAPOLIS) -- Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Police Chief Tim Dolan today called on State Legislators to support their efforts to keep the City of Minneapolis a safe place to call home by restoring local government aid and providing property tax reform. During testimony before a rare joint session of the Minnesota Senate Public Safety Finance Committee and the House Public Safety Budget Committee, Rybak and Dolan discussed public safety challenges facing the state’s largest city and outlined strategies they have underway to reduce crime.
"Minneapolis faces a serious public safety challenge that requires us to continue to make significant investments to fight crime," Mayor Rybak reported. "We are doing just that by funding new police officers, investing in innovative public safety technology, implementing new strategies to improve crime enforcement, and making significant investments in initiatives that will prevent crime by attacking its root causes."
"The most immediate and powerful tool in our crime fighting strategy is to increase the visibility and presence of police officers on the street," Chief Dolan said. "Minneapolis is doing this by growing our force by over 100 officers, which will return our police force to 893 sworn officers – the same number we had in 2002, and a significant achievement accomplished despite a slowed economy, the end of federal public safety funding and $30 million less from the state each year."
Mayor Rybak and Chief Dolan outlined a series of strategies underway to keep Minneapolis safe:
- Hire 100 more police officers using city resources, restoring the police force to the same number before state budget cuts began in 2003.
- Dedicate $2 million over the next two years to public safety technology such as security cameras, shot-spotter, and squad car video.
- Expand funding for community prosecutors in police precincts to increase crime convictions.
- Attack juvenile crime by increasing support for proven community-based youth crime prevention efforts and creating a juvenile crime unit in the police department.
- Collaborate with other government and business partners such as the Downtown SafeZone.
- Focus efforts to get illegal guns off the street and out of the hands of kids.
- Protect livability with improved graffiti removal and by recuperating problem properties.
"Without strong, collaborative leadership from the state, Minneapolis, like many other cities across Minnesota, will struggle to maintain the progress we’ve made on public safety," Mayor Rybak added. "We cannot maintain funding for our new police officers and other public safety investments, or address other pressing city needs, without increasing local property taxes or receiving additional state aid."
"Minneapolis does not exist in a vacuum, and it is in the entire state’s interest to ensure that our largest city remains a safe place to live, work and visit," Mayor Rybak said.
Published Feb. 6, 2007