MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A new public safety operation just launched in Minneapolis a few days ago but already there are lots of questions, including where will officers be and when.
FOX 9's Karen Scullin obtained documents detailing "Operation Endeavor" and had some questions for Dr. Cedric Alexander, the man hired to bring down crime in the city.
They’re in ATVs, rolling through Nicollet Mall and the surrounding streets and on sidewalks keeping watch. On a Sunday afternoon, as the Vikings hosted the Lions, downtown is saturated with Minneapolis police.
FOX 9 obtained the plan for Operation Endeavor that says in part, "The mission is to be visibly present and seen by as many people as possible. Deter criminal activity through uniformed presence and bring peace to the area."
It also says, "Personnel should remain focused on the long-term gathering spots of citizens and join them."
But, some have noted the plan doesn’t include north Minneapolis, the area struggling the most right now with violent crime.
"Don’t go by the plan cause the plan changes every day," said Community Safety Commissioner Dr. Cedric Alexander.
Although FOX 9 was told no other plan has "officially" gone out, community safety commissioner Dr. Cedric Alexander says the plan is always in flux and includes the entire city.
"I don’t ever want them to believe particularly under my leadership that they’re going to be shunned or overlooked because that is not going to happen," said Alexander.
FOX 9 did confirm Endeavor set up at Broadway and Lyndale in north Minneapolis this past Monday, an intersection plagued with shootings, murders and more. But, the official plan does bring up another question about the hours, it shows the OP only goes from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., while most of the violent crime happens late into the night.
"We will be out there morning, noon and night," said Alexander. "Just because you don’t see us don’t mean we’re not there."
As for who is working Endeavor, FOX 9 obtained the schedule for the next three months. Assigned to the operation are some civilian employees who we’re told will work in a supportive role. But the majority are officers from investigations and from the various precincts, even the fourth which is already battling the highest crime with low staffing.
"Everybody across all five precincts are getting officers pulled periodically not just the 4th precinct," said Alexander. "The first, the second, the third and the fifth. But everybody is putting a little skin in the game."
We spoke to some Endeavor officers Sunday from investigative units who were committed to the department and the operation. But they did mention they usually use overtime to work their cases, which had them concerned.
"We are fighting with everything that we have, so yeah some might be taken out of specialized units, but only for a brief time a month," said Alexander.
For success, Alexander says the city must unite and care about safety in every community.
"All of us are great together regardless of where we live work or play," said Alexander. "This is just a great community overall and we’re going to meet this challenge around public safety."
There is no end date for Operation Endeavor, with Alexander saying this is a transformation in the way the city will police.