New MPD 4th precinct inspector increasing communication with residents, staff

There’s new leadership working to bring police and the community together on the north side of Minneapolis.

The 4th precinct’s Kelvin Pulphus is bringing both change and compassion to the job.

He took over the post in mid-April and said it’s been the most challenging and humbling experience of his career.

He’s trying to turn around the often rocky relationship in the area between residents and police.

“I want to treat people like I want to be treated,” said Inspector Kelvin Pulphus.

Pulphus hails from Chicago’s south side, but he’s a familiar face across some of Minneapolis’ most at-risk neighborhoods since his days as a rookie officer patrolling the north side since 1992.

Now, he’s leading that department after a change in command earlier this year.

“I want to place my emphasis on being out there in the community more and let my police officers and supervisor staff do their job with law enforcement and supervising their staff here,” he said.

Pulphus recognizes the challenges he’s up against across the 4th precinct.

“We do have some issues with shots being fired in the 4th precinct—a lot of issues with that,” said Pulphus. “We have a great deal of complaints coming in about traffic, people speeding, not stopping at stop signs, flying through the alleys.”

The inspector is trying to do things differently when it comes to connecting with the community.

“I want to go to every church, business association meeting, community service meeting, last week I went to a lady’s home to drink tea, I don’t even drink tea, but I want to be able to get out into the community and talk to as many people as I can as often as I can,” he said.

Pulphus hopes to increase diversity among the officers who respond to calls from residents, reflecting on the ever-changing demographics across the different neighborhoods.

"We definitely need police officers who can do the job, who are capable and willing to do the job, but it really helps the community when you roll around in a squad car and you look like them,” he added.

Right now, there are about 136 officers at the 4th precinct. It’s a number the inspector says is low for the amount of activity that happens in the area.

He says communication with city leaders and community activists are improving, and he hopes that will bring more officers and resources to the north side.