We need a cohesive plan on crime

May 14, 2017

“Last night a bystander was shot by stray fire while he was an enjoying an evening on the patio of a local business in the Third Ward. Traditionally, warmer weather brings more crime in this city, so unfortunately this may be a sign of things to come. Though I recognize that many neighborhoods in Minneapolis see this type of tragedy all too regularly, this incident, for me, brings home the resulting frustration and anger from a senseless crime such as this. It is unacceptable.

“This city has a problem, and while the mayor’s office is directly responsible for overseeing the police department, we won’t be able to find the most effective solutions without bringing all of the stakeholders to the table. We need clear action.

“We need a cohesive plan that brings together all of the stakeholders and sets aside personal differences between the Mayor, the Police Chief, and the Council. We can’t expect to do what is necessary to reduce violent crime if we can’t even get a coalition of necessary partners together.

“We need to narrow the beat of our officers in high crime areas and routinize their schedules so that foundational community relationships are built. I want the community to know the name of their beat officers, and the precise days and times when they are working. We cannot build these relationships if police are simply driving from 911 call to 911 call. We need them out of the car and immersed in community.

“We need to allocate the necessary resources to support anti-crime measures that go beyond policing. Increasing vocational skills training opportunities and youth employment and after school programs will connect at risk youth and the unemployed with a job and a living wage. We should be working with our diverse community, the Park Board, Independent School District, and private sector to create unique solutions to the root problems of poverty and violence.

“These problems are bigger than any person in the City of Minneapolis, and we will continue to fail to address them if we don’t change. The people of Minneapolis deserve better. They deserve to be safe.”

— Council Member Jacob Frey