City council reviews efforts to tackle violence in Minneapolis

With violent crime on the rise in Minneapolis, city council members met on Thursday to discuss some new crime reduction measures.

Speaking during the meeting, police acknowledge the exact cause of violent crime increasing is a combination of complicated factors. In recent months we’ve watched multiple young gunshot victims buried by loved ones and most recently body parts of Adam Johnson showing up across the city.

They are just a few of the victims contributing to the number of homicides up 64 percent year to date.

Robberies are also up 30 percent and while several property crimes have dropped, including burglaries down 35 percent and arson down almost 22 percent compared to 2020, carjackings are up 164 percent.

"I know we are going to continue to double down on our efforts to disrupt the criminal activity," said Minneapolis Police Commander Jason Case.

The Office of Violence Prevention highlighted to council members some of what they are doing including the strategic outreach initiative "MinneapolUS." With long-term funding, the goal with this is to contract with more community groups for so-called "interrupters" who can try to prevent and reduce community violence.

The program director Sasha Cotton points out this is different than the community patrols around the Derek Chauvin trial that some criticized as being a police buffer.

"There is a barrier between the MPD and interrupters to protect the credibly of interrupters," said Cotton.

Down the road, the hope is to also offer trauma response, especially after one of the 41 homicides thus far this year occurred outside a funeral service for another.

"This is not reactionary, this is designed to prevent violence before it happens," said Cotton. "Although, there are some pieces that deal with the response to violence once it's occurred."

Along with the increased crime reports, ShotSpotter activity is also up quite a bit, especially in instances where ten or more rounds are being fired.