Minneapolis crime falls for 2nd year in a row
December 22, 2008 (MINNEAPOLIS) Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Police Chief Tim Dolan today reported that proactive policing, community outreach and youth violence prevention have helped Minneapolis reach a second straight year of double-digit reductions in crime.
Violent crime in Minneapolis is down 13 percent citywide so far in 2008 when compared to 2007 and down 24 percent compared to 2006. Homicides are down 22 percent from last year and down 39 percent from 2006. Robberies decreased 18 percent, aggravated assaults are down 8 percent, and juvenile crime dropped 17 percent in 2008.
Violent crime is down in every Minneapolis police precinct. The Second Precinct (northeast) led the city in violent crime reduction, falling 21 percent. Violent crime fell 15 percent in the Fourth Precinct of north Minneapolis. Violent crime fell 12 percent in the First Precinct (downtown) and the Fifth Precinct (southwest) and fell 11 percent in the Third Precinct (south).
Police and City leaders attribute Minneapolis’ double-digit reductions in violent crime to several proactive coordinated efforts which highlight prevention as the key to progress. Community-oriented policing strategies implemented over the past two years are helping police better connect to communities, combat juvenile crime, and improve overall public safety in Minneapolis.
"Backed by tough and aggressive police enforcement, we are seeing that ‘upstream’ crime prevention is helping us maintain our gains on crime across the city," Mayor Rybak said. "While we are pleased with this continued progress, we know that, with the current economy and state budget deficit, tougher times are around the corner. We need to keep our eye on the ball and keep public safety as our central focus."
"Minneapolis’ community-based approach to crime prevention and crime reduction is keeping our streets and neighborhoods safer," Chief Dolan said. "More of our officers are getting out of their cars and walking the streets, talking to residents, and working with neighborhood groups to get ahead of crime before it happens. This helps fight crime both short term and long term."
Youth Violence Decline Driving Over Crime Reduction
Minneapolis’ coordinated youth violence enforcement and prevention programs continued to show progress in 2008 and are making the City a national leader in the fight to end violent crime among youth. Less than 20 percent of all arrests in 2008 involved juveniles – a decrease from more than 30 percent in 2006. Juvenile violent crime fell 23 percent in 2008. Over the last two years, juvenile violent crime in Minneapolis has dropped 42 percent as a result of several interwoven innovative prevention and enforcement strategies.
In January of this year, Mayor Rybak and other city and community leaders launched the Blueprint to Prevent Youth Violence: a multi-faceted, multi-year action plan takes a public-health approach, treating youth violence as a preventable problem. As a result of these efforts:
- A new Juvenile Supervision Center in City Hall provides teens committing lower-level offenses with resources they to stay in school and get back on track.
- A Juvenile Criminal Apprehension Team arrested nearly 950 of the city’s most violent youth offenders. Getting the most violent teens out of the community helps them and keeps neighborhoods safer.
- This fall the Minneapolis Public Schools awarded a five-year contract for School Resource Officers to the MPD. This new effort provides increased opportunity for officers to work with youth in constructive activities and build stronger relationships.
- Police are using a Safe Routes to School collaborative program with the Minneapolis School Board to identify a six-block radius around ten schools which are most challenged by crime. MPD is partnering with McGruff House coordinators and neighborhood associations to ensure that children can take the safest possible paths to walk and bike to school.
- The City recently received a two-year $200,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice to fund a new full-time youth gang prevention coordinator position, focused entirely on solving gang-related problems.
Community Outreach and Neighborhood Relations Strengthen
Through building more MPD-community and neighborhood partnerships in 2008, Minneapolis gained more opportunities to improve public safety for residents and businesses:
- Minneapolis has a Neighborhood Policing Plan for each of its 83 neighborhoods. MPD officers and crime prevention specialists work directly with residents to formulate the annually updated plans to address crime concerns specific to the area and measure crime reduction.
- The City of Minneapolis has worked hard to create public safety partnerships with residents and businesses. In 2008, MPD Crime Prevention Specialists trained 89 new block leaders, bringing the total number of block clubs citywide to 1,893.
- Minneapolis continues to be a role model for how National Night Out events are planned and executed. For the sixth time in the past eight years, Minneapolis has won 2008 National Night Out’s top Award for cities with populations greater than 300,000.
- MPD Inspectors at the Citys five precincts have been working hard to implement a coordinated approach to helping neighborhoods most challenged by crime and the problems that can result from foreclosed and vacant properties.
- The First-Precinct-lead downtown SafeZone Collaborative is an international model for creating successful public-private sector public safety partnerships. The SafeZone Collaborative helps make the heart of downtown safe and welcoming for residents and visitors. This successful collaborative will be replicated next year in the Cedar-Riverside area of the West Bank.
- MPD added a new type of vehicle to its fleet this year. The battery-powered, zero-gas-emission T-3 personal mobility vehicles let officers see farther, move faster, and allows people to connect directly with officers on the street.
- Late this year the MPD opened a new substation at Block E. The Block E station and Community Outreach Center is a joint effort among Block E, the Minneapolis Police Department, SafeZone Collaborative, St. Stephens Human Services and other community organizations aimed at connecting people with information and services as part of an ongoing effort to keep downtown a safe place to live, work and visit.
- Community Impact Statements are now available online for the first time allowing the public to submit statements to the courts and have an effect on sentencing.
- MPD is has more officers than ever involved in community outreach initiatives. Approximately 250 officers have participated in Spanish language training and regularly use their foreign language skills at community meetings, schools and churches. MPD has a full-time liaison to the Latino community and a full-time liaison to the Somali community.
Published Dec. 22, 2008