Minneapolis juvenile police program wins international award

The Minneapolis Police Department is one of three winners of the prestigious 2009 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Webber Seavey award for the department’s innovative approach to reducing juvenile crime. In the three years following the implementation of its juvenile crime program, Minneapolis has seen a 33 percent reduction in juvenile arrests for the most serious crimes and a 30 percent reduction in juveniles as suspects in criminal activity.

Jointly sponsored by IACP and Motorola, the Webber Seavey Award is presented annually to agencies and departments worldwide in recognition for promoting a standard of excellence that exemplifies law enforcement's contribution and dedication to the quality of life in local communities.

Created in 2006 by then interim Police Chief Tim Dolan and administered by then Lieutenant Bryan Schafer after a significant spike in juvenile crime, the initiative addresses cooperation among stakeholders; investigation and prosecution of crime; intervention in the lives of low level offenders; and putting officers into the school environment to provide a meaningful resource for students and staff.

The Juvenile Division has driven change and reduced crime by serving as a one-stop shop to address juvenile crime through intelligence gathering, investigations, public school security, booking and fingerprinting, and the maintenance of a juvenile history database.

In addition, the Division has established strong working relationships with community organizations such as The Link, faith-based groups like Shiloh Temple, private corporations such as Target and General Mills, and other public entities, including Hennepin County, the University of Minnesota, and the US Marshal’s Office. In working with these organizations, the MPD has been innovative and progressive in finding new ways to address both first-time juvenile delinquency and ongoing serious offenders.

To be considered for the award, the agency must show significant achievement toward continual improvement of services to the community, the strengthening of police relations and promotion community participation, the effective use of resources, the enhancement of communications within and cooperation among agencies, and the development of creative and innovative approaches that promote excellence in law enforcement.

Sept. 3, 2009

Published Sep 3, 2009