Minnesota BCA's new crime prevention unit showing results, officials say

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is stepping up its fight against violent crime with a new unit that officials say is already showing results.

The Violent Crime Reduction Unit, which began operations in early 2024, builds on the efforts of a previous initiative started in April 2022.

Since that initiative began, the team, working with local law enforcement agencies, has made 1,384 arrests and confiscated 653 firearms, 145,070 fentanyl pills, 220 pounds of meth, and significant amounts of other drugs.

Last year, lawmakers approved funding for a full unit to expand on the early initiative.

The team includes 14 BCA agents, a firearms detection dog, two criminal intelligence analysts, two crime victim coordinators, and 11 officers from local police and sheriff's offices in the metro.

Officials say the new unit is showing some positive early results.

So far in 2024, the unit has arrested 112 wanted criminals and confiscated 66 firearms, 2,650 fentanyl pills, and 9.2 pounds of meth.

"We are grateful to our local partners for their willingness to tackle this issue with us and look forward to seeing the continued success this unit will achieve," said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans.

The new unit is the latest in a series of efforts to combat crime in Minnesota that has spiked following the pandemic and the 2020 riots.