Task force on Minneapolis, St. Paul violence draws from 12 agencies, but adds no visible presence to streets

Two weeks ago, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a multi-agency task force was being formed to address a persistent streak of shootings and violence in the city. The announcement followed a shooting in Uptown that injured 11 people and three separate shootings on the north side that injured nine people.

Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald announced the formation of a new Twin Cities Violent Crime Task Force in response to the spike in gun violence and violent crime across the metro. The task force creates a new command center for real-time sharing of information, with dedicated personnel and resources from the FBI, ATF, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, DEA, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, deputies from the Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota County Sheriff’s Offices and Minneapolis and St. Paul police officers.

Noticeably absent from the task force strategy is any increased visible presence on the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“The goal of this task force is not to flood our communities with law enforcement, but rather to leverage law enforcement’s collective resources to allow for focused and effective enforcement actions,” MacDonald said in a news release. “Bringing safety and security back to our cities requires collaboration, and we need law enforcement, city leaders and community members all working together toward the common goal of bringing an end to this violence.” 

The task force will work business hours, 8:30 a.m.to 5:30 p.m., and will be extended as needed. Daily briefings will be held at 10 a.m. and the work of the task force will be evaluated after 30 days.

The question of whether more police officers equals a safer city is an item of debate in Minneapolis. The city council’s charter commission is currently taking public comments before deciding if an amendment to remove “police” from the charter will make it to the ballot in November.

The current city charter requires a certain number of officers per resident, but the City Council approved an amendment that would scratch the word “police” from the charter and replace it with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention that could, but wouldn’t have to, include a division of law enforcement with licensed officers.

Recent shootings in Minneapolis include a 7-year-old boy shot in the foot while exiting a convenience store with his dad, a 12-year-old boy shot in an apparent road rage incident, a pregnant woman shot and killed near Powderhorn Park, and an incident that sent 42 youth football players running for cover when gunshots rang out during their practice at Jordan Park.

Minneapolis violent crime this year

Here is a look at violent crime statistics recorded by the Minneapolis Police Department so far this year compared to 2019 and compared to a notably violent 2017.

Homicide: 29
Rape: 237
Robbery: 727
Agg Assault: 1,360
Domestics Agg Assault: 444
Total Violent Crimes: 2,353

Homicide: 16
Rape: 308
Robbery: 558
Agg Assault: 1,191
Domestics Agg Assault: 510
Total Violent Crimes: 2,073


Homicide: 20
Rape: 294
Robbery: 909
Agg Assault: 1,292
Domestics Agg Assault: 487
Total Violent Crimes: 2,515