Minneapolis City Council briefing confirms two things: Crime is prolific and police matter

On Wednesday, August 10, the Minneapolis City Council’s Public Health and Safety Committee received an update from police investigative and intelligence representatives.  The hearing can be viewed in its entirety here

Two things were strikingly clear — 1) crime has been prolific in Minneapolis since 2019, and 2) police make a significant impact on crime when and where they are deployed.

According to the briefing the following increases in criminal activity have occurred in Minneapolis since 2019:

  • Homicide + 166%
  • Gunshot victims + 101%
  • Shootings + 133%
  • Gun Shots Detected + 230%
  • Discharged casings recovered +263%
  • Car Jackings + 519%

Other pertinent data shared included:

  • In 2022, the city has gone just 26% of the days without a shooting victim
  • 56% of the shooting victims are city residents
  • 83% of the shooting victims are African American
  • 86% of the shooting suspects are African American

In light of this criminal activity, police highlighted the results of the Greater Minneapolis Violent Crime Initiative. This effort brought together law enforcement resources from city, county, state and federal agencies to conduct high visibility proactive enforcement in targeted hotspots on just 12 days between May 11th and July 27th, 2022. 

During these 12 targeted events, law enforcement arrested 209 offenders and recovered 108 firearms. Crime was tracked in these hotspots over a 6-day period surrounding these targeted events. Not surprisingly, crime was drastically decreased in relation to this proactive police work:

  • Franklin and Chicago Ave S — decrease in crime by 75%
  • Penn and Golden Valley Road — decrease in crime by 55%
  • Lowry and Knox Ave N — decrease in crime by 37%
  • Hennepin Ave downtown — decrease in crime by 35%

Unfortunately, the correlation between a robust law enforcement presence and peace seems lost on too many in Minneapolis city leadership. 

Several follow-up questions from councilmembers revolved around any known data or information regarding the “unarmed” efforts the city has invested millions of dollars in — such as the Office of Violence Prevention and violence interrupters, etc. Given the lack of any information shared at the briefing, it was obvious that coordination between these violence prevention efforts and law enforcement, or any meaningful oversight of such efforts is lacking.

As the city prepares to move forward with its plan to manage its crime strategy with its newly minted Office of Community Safety headed by Commissioner Cedric Alexander, it would be wise to prioritize investing in and valuing the police department’s role first and foremost. The success of Alexander’s office, and the wellbeing of the city depend on it.