Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Minneapolis mayor & Red Star respond

You may recall that following the upsurge in Minneapolis crime (is it an "upsurge" when it goes up from up?) Rambix dutifully sent emails to Minneapolis' fearless city mayor Ryback, asking what his plans are to address the crime wave, and another email to the Red Star, asking if they planned on reporting the crime. The original post is here, and the emails are reproduced below:

[To the Red Star]
I understand you're looking for news tips. There has been an escalation of violent crime in the Uptown Minneapolis area, with over 20+ robberies, many with weapons. A man was recently given a savage beating while walking around Lake Harriet. To my knowledge, neither of these stories have appeared in yourpaper.I hope you have the opportunity to report these imminent public safety issues.



[To Minneapolis mayor Ryback]
Mr. Mayor,Uptown Minneapolis is once again awash in violent crime, and I'm afraid the word isn't getting out, and the public is at risk. In addition to the Uptown violence, a man was recently given a savage beating at Lake Harriet, and people are frightened.Can you tell me what steps you're taking to alert the public and interdict the crime? I appreciate your attention to this important issue.



The Red Star actually published an article the following day; whether this is coincidence we don't know. Mayor Ryback took his time responding, delegating the task to his Director of Constituent Services, Douglas Gardner. Mr. Gardner punted the task to Minneapolis 5th Precinct Commander Kris Arneson, who wrote a lengthy response as follows:

I’m not sure what you mean by violent crime [*], but I have addressed this issue recently on the news. If you go to the WCCO Channel 4 website, and look at a story called More Minneapolis Cops in Uptown, you can get a good feel for what’s happening. I am working with the Uptown Association, and they have hired additional police to work the Uptown area from Dec. 1 through the holidays. You will see these officers walking beats and stopping into businesses.

In the last three months there have been three robberies in the Uptown area. One of them was the TCF Bank, another was an intoxicated man and he could only guess that is where he was, and the third was the unfortunate incident where a woman had her car taken at gunpoint. We have solved the TCF Bank robbery so far.

We regularly put out crime alerts through our web service. If you have email and are signed up you will get those reports from us.

The robberies have been happening in the north sector of East Linden Hills and Carag neighborhoods. In addition to that, the majority of robberies occur in the Whittier Neighborhood.

I have two teams of officers, one works during the day and the second team works in the evening. The day team works mostly on drugs and prostitution, and the night team works street crimes. My 911 Officers are directed to do traffic stops, suspicious person stops and suspicious vehicle stops between answering 911 calls. At this point, I am at capacity with the number of officers I have assigned to this precinct V. the calls for service.

I have also recently put in place a new robbery response protocol. It is too new to give a grade to, but a supervisor will respond to every robbery in the Precinct, and we will do follow-up work in the hopes of getting a lead of who the suspects are.

We are working very hard on making arrests on the robbery patterns that we have. In fact, it is our top priority in the PCT and citywide. As the spring turns into summer, there will be more officers coming out on the street since the Mayor will be hiring up to 60 more officers by June. That will be very beneficial. If I can be of more service, please call me directly at 673-5504.

Inspector Kris Arneson
5th Precinct Commander
3101 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406

-----Original Message-----
From: Gardner, Douglas K
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 10:30 AM
To: 'rambix@ix.netcom.com'
Cc: Arneson, Kristine
Subject: FW:
Minneapolis crime

Thank you for writing. The Mayor and Police Department take public safety very seriously and the Police have been addressing the crime in the Uptown area agressively. I am going to forward your message to Inspector Kris Arneson, the commander of the 5th Precinct that includes the Uptown area, so she can respond with details about how the department is making citizens aware of safety and crime prevention issues and what policing strategies are being used.



Director of Constituent Services
Office of Mayor R.T. Rybak
350 South 5th Street, Room 331
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2133

If you would like to receive regular email updates from Mayor Rybak, go to www.minneapolis.org/mayor and click the link in the Take Action column.
[*] Uptown violence explodes (again)
Inspector Arneson's assertion that there have only been 3 robberies in Uptown Minneapolis is not consistent with news reports and crime alerts. The difference may, however, be due to how crimes are categorized by the police as opposed to the media, or how the police define "Uptown". All Rambix knows is that a lot of scumbags in Minneapolis are preying on innocent people.