Minneapolis mayor, LE officials launch initiative to stop rise in violent crime

Andy Mannix
star tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and a group of local law enforcement officials announced Thursday a new strategy they say will help stem the rise in violent crime in the city.

Frey announced

Frey announced the “hard work” at a news conference in downtown Minneapolis. (Photo by Getty Images via TNS/Stephen Maturen)

Frey, who called public safety in Minneapolis “the most important issue right now,” outlined a plan he said would use data to more effectively use data as part of a partnership between police, prosecutors and violent disruptors. Deploy the city’s depleted resources to high crime areas.

“Security is not a priority on the agenda right now – it is a priority,” he said. “It’s something I think about every morning when I wake up. It’s the last thing I think about before going to bed.”

Frey announced “Operation Hard” at a news conference in downtown Minneapolis while working with Minneapolis Public Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander, several police inspectors, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, U.S. Marshal Eddie Frizel and others stood together. While he didn’t provide specifics, Frey said the strategy would focus on building greater day-to-day partnerships between different city, county, state and federal agencies, which would allow for greater efforts to reduce police staffing. flexible approach.

“It’s not a half-hearted approach,” Frey said. “Everyone you see here is fully committed to this plan.”

The announcement is the latest attempt by law enforcement leaders and elected officials to convince the public they can deal with violent crime in Minneapolis — an issue that has come to the heart of the upcoming midterm elections. As of 2022, the city has recorded 67 homicides, down from 76 a year earlier, but significantly higher than Minneapolis’ pre-2020 normal, according to the Star Tribune database. There has also been an increase in shootings, carjackings and other violent crimes compared to this time of year in the decade before the pandemic.

Alexander said he met with members of the partnership, including private business owners integral to the new strategy. When Frey and the city council appointed him to his new position as public safety commissioner this summer, he described the storied action as “the culmination of the charges I’ve taken on.” He said the multi-jurisdictional strategy would start downtown and spread throughout the city and nearby communities, and he would submit progress reports and regular updates.

“We are using data to focus our resources on the areas where criminal activity has the greatest impact on the safety of people living, working or visiting the City of Minneapolis,” Alexander said. “The impact of what we’re going to do here is going to have a citywide impact — to every citizen and every community in this community.”

Prosecutor and former police officer Michael Radmer will be integrated into the city as part of that strategy, Freeman said.

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commander. Jason Case, who will coordinate Minneapolis police efforts, said relying on more data will be key to spotting “new trends” and responding with patrols and plainclothes officers.

Trained violence disruptors will also be deployed to de-escalate and canvass these areas, and other city staff will work with victims, said Jen White, the city’s manager of community and interagency engagement.

The Minneapolis Police Department is down by more than 300 officers from two years ago, after officers killed George Floyd and burned down the third precinct, prompting a mass exodus. Frey said Thursday that the city is gearing up to launch a $1.2 million campaign to recruit officers, but there is “a long way to go” to replenish personnel, which is why the new strategy is critical to addressing public safety concerns. crucial reason.

Meanwhile, Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Lugar is devoting more federal resources to help curb the crime spike. Earlier this year, Lugar announced he had directed all criminal prosecutors in his office to help fight violent crime, with a focus on prosecuting illegal gun traffickers, gang members and car thieves.

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