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Safety Committee - January 27th, 2011

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Announcements -

Art Squared, 4/23, at Stevens Square Center for the Arts, 1905 3rd Ave, featuring: live music; beer, wine and food available for donation; high quality art (donated by local artists) for sale. Proceeds will be used to 2011 SSCO arts programming in Stevens Square Park, including Cinema and Civics and Red Hot Art.

Follow up - 

Next Safety Committee meeting: Thursday, 2/24, at 6 p.m. at 1925 Nicollet Ave.

Minneapolis Police Report - CPS Chelsea Adams, Officer Brianna Garman, Officer Nick Hwang

Chelsea Adams distributed a map and list of Part 1 crimes in the neighborhood during December. There were:

 

  • 1 criminal sexual assault: 12/14 at an address on the 1800 block of Lasalle Ave, in which a victim, who refused to cooperate with police, claimed to have been drugged and raped by an acquaintance. 
  • 1 robbery of person: 12/30, 2:40 p.m., at 1800 LaSalle Ave, in which an intoxicated victim confronted two suspects who grabbed him by the throat and stole his wallet.
  • 1 aggravated assault: 12/15, 10:40 a.m., at 1703 2nd Ave, in which a male suspect pulled a gun and threatened a person who was trying to repossess a vehicle from a female who defaulted on payments.
  • 2 aggravated domestic assaults.
  • 1 apartment burglary: between 12/27 and 1/12 at 1800 3rd Ave.
  • 5 thefts from motor vehicles: 12/5 at 1706 Stevens Ave; 12/6 at 19th and Clinton; 12/7 at Groveland and Lasalle; 12/9 at 17th and Stevens; 12/17 at 1800 Stevens Ave.
  • 7 other incidents of theft or shoplifting.

 

Police are investigating four aggravated robberies of person which occurred in the neighborhood during the first two weeks of January. Anyone who is the victim of a violent crime should report it to 911 as soon as possible in order to give police the best chance to apprehend the perpetrator(s). The 2011 neighborhood policing plan will be posted on the MPD web site by 1/31. The 5th Precinct will soon begin sending out quarterly e-newsletter: contact Chelsea.Adams@ci.minneapolis.mn.uc to sign up.

Officers Brianna Garman and Nick Hwang work the day beat patrol in Stevens Square and Whittier. Garman said that the neighborhood has been very quiet lately and that livability crimes are down. Call 911 to report suspicious activity and crimes in progress and provide the operator with a good description of the suspect(s).

Adams distributed information about a series of recent robberies in the 3rd and 5th Precincts (none of which occurred in Stevens Square-Loring Heights) with a description of a suspect. She also shared information about offender Jose Francisco Gomez (11/24/74) who was recently featured on the website of Fox TV's America's Most Wanted program. Gomez is a fugitive out of Minneapolis wanted for multiple sexual assaults of a small girl.

The unofficial 2010 Part 1 crime statistics for the neighborhood show an overall increase in crime compared to 2009. There were no homicides (1 in 2009); 9 rapes (7 in 2009); 23 robberies (same as 2009); 25 aggravated assaults (17 in 2009); 37 burglaries (35 in 2009); 121 incidents of theft/larceny (116 in 2009); 26 motor vehicle thefts (22 in 2009). Adams cautioned that the 2009 crime numbers were unusually low and argued that the 2010 numbers show that the gains in crime reduction made in the past few years have for the most part been sustained. Annual crime statistics going back to 1998 show that, although the numbers can vary significantly from year to year, the overall trend is very positive, with a high of 442 Part 1 crimes in 1999 (including 100 violent offenses) down to 221 Part 1 crimes in 2009 (including 48 violent offenses), a 50% reduction. There were 241 Part 1 crimes reported in 2010, 57 of which were violent offenses.

SSCO's Google maps and lists of arrests in the area from Lyndale Ave to 4th Ave, I-94 to 24th St, from 12/17/10 to 1/23/11 showed 3 alcohol-related arrests (21 a year ago). 11 narcotics-related arrests (5 a year ago), and 2 prostitution-related arrests (6 a year ago). In 2010, there were 308 alcohol-related arrests (394 in 2009), 134 narcotics-related arrests (136 in 2009), and 24 prostitution-related arrests (33 in 2009). For the period from 12/17/10 to 1/23/11, SSCO's Google maps showed 33 police reports for the Nicollet corridor (LaSalle Ave/Blaisdell Ave to 1st Ave, I-94 to 24th St), 3 for the Stevens Square Park area (Stevens Ave to 2nd Ave, 17th St to Franklin Ave), and 12 for the Clinto sector (3rd Ave to 4th Ave, I-94 to Franklin Ave).

Below is a list summarizing arrests and citation for certain livability offenses in the area from Lyndale Ave to 4th Ave, I-94 to 24th St, over the past six years. Alcohol-related arrests include consuming alcohol in public, open bottle, and posession of liquor in a park. Narcotics-related arrests include narcotics violation, loitering with intent to buy or sell narcotics, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Prostitution-related arrests include loitering with intent to commit prostitution and prostitution.

Alcohol arrests: 2005, 263; 2006, 372; 2007, 391; 2008, 356; 2009, 394; 2010, 308; total - 2,084.

Narcotics arrests: 2005, 333; 2006, 376; 2007, 228; 2008, 161; 2009, 136; 2010, 134; total - 1,359.

Prostitution: 2005, 105; 2006, 35; 2007, 35; 2008, 27; 2009, 33; 2010, 24; total - 259.

Total arrests per year: 2005, 701; 2006, 774; 2007, 654; 2008, 544; 2009, 563; 2010, 466; total - 3,702.

Since 2004, SSCO has tracked all arrests in the same area and identified top offenders, in this case those who have been arrested or cited in the area five or more times in a calendar year. Below is a list summarizing the number of top offenders per year and the total number of arrests they accounted for.

2004: 15 top offenders, accounted for 114 arrests

2005: 33 top offenders, accounted for 235 arrests

2006: 29 top offenders, accounted for 194 arrests

2007: 25 top offenders, accounted for 174 arrests

2008: 13 top offenders, accounted for 72 arrests

2009: 13 top offenders, accounted for 81 arrests

2010: 9 top offenders, accounted for 56 arrests

Top offenders in 2010 included Frank Everette Keezer (8 arrests), Ronald King (7), Frederick Washington (7), James Wilkins (7), William Casarez (6), Ahmed Hired (6), Patrick Addy (5), Jessica Matt (5), and Walter Weyaus Sr (5).

Since 2004, SSCO has tracked all arrests in the same area and identified 194 chronic offenders, in this case those who have been arrested or cited in the area five or more times within two years. Below is a list of the number of chronic offenders arrested per year and the total number of arrests they accounted for.

2004: 86 chronic offenders, 282 arrests

2005: 108 chronic offenders, 398 arrests

2006: 114 chronic offenders, 402 arrests

2007: 102 chronic offenders, 339 arrests

2008: 93 chronic offenders, 246 arrests

2009: 83 chronic offenders, 214 arrests

2010: 70 chronic offenders, 170 arrests 

Follow up - 

Chelsea.Adams@ci.minneapolis.mn.us, 612-673-2819. CRT line (to report suspected drug and prostitution activity at specific addresses or locations): 612-673-5176 or contact Sara.Metcalf@ci.minneapolis.mn.us.

Contact SSCO to receive printed or e-mailed copies of the Google maps, which are updated weekly. The e-mailed versions include links to mugshots of chronic offenders.

Priority Concerns/Hot Spots/Chronic Offenders -

 

  • 19th and 3rd - There are still reports of periodic loitering outside the market at this corner.
  • 110 East 18th St - There was some disagreement about whether intruders are trespassing at this vacant, boarded property. Residents are encouraged to watch the area and support suspicious activity to 911.
  • 1812 1st Ave - On 1/14 there was an incident involving an assault and damage to property in this apartment building. The victim believes that the suspect's actions were motivated by anti-gay bias. No one was arrested at the time of the report. The victim subsequently shared concerns with Council Member Lilligren and SSCO staff regarding a recent increase in violence against members of the GLBT community in the neighborhood and the perception that the area has become a dangerous place. It's unclear whether other such crimes have been reported to police, since there are no recent police reports of any similar incidents in the area. In any event, this incident raises a red flag; residents are encouraged to report any bias-related crimes to 911. The committee would be interested in learning about any similar incidents in the neighborhood.

 

A suggestion had been made earlier in the month to invite Shane Zahn, the Safe Zone coordinator for the Downtown Improvement District (DID), to attend a committee meeting and present information about the successful safety strategies which have been developed downtown. Lilligren said that the presentation would probably be aimed more at business and property owners (who make up DID) than community organizations, with the goal of identifying private resources to help fund the strategies. It's unclear whether the Safety committee would be the best venue for such presentation.

Lilligren reported on the City Attorney's 2011 business plan, which focuses on improving domestic violence prosecution; aggressive prosecution of chronic livability offenders, with enhanced sentences when possible; and the Downtown 100 initiative which focuses on the top offenders there. There are some questions about whether the Downtown 100 project serves to displace crime from downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods; the City Attorney's office denies that this happens. There is some concern that court-ordered geographic restrictions for offenders may be pitting the 5th Precinct against the 1st Precinct, which includes downtown, since they share a number of chronic offenders in common. For example, if certain offenders are restricted from the 1st Precinct, there is a likelihood that they will spend more time in the 5th Precinct.

There was a suggestion to invite new 5th Precinct Inspector Matt Clark to present information with Shane Zahn to the committee, and to specifically address the geographic restrictions issue. Clark previously worked as a sector lieutenant in the 1st Precinct and is very familiar with the DID strategies.The committee asked staff to go ahead with that plan, and decided to allow 30 minutes for a presentation.

There was a report that UPI Property Management, which owns three apartment buildings on the 1800 block of Stevens Ave, is under control of a new ownership group as of 1/1/11. The new owners have hired Contract Management Services to manage all of their properties. MyMinneapolisApartments.com will handle leasing and customer service. Lilligren spoke about how some landlords maneuver to change the ownership of the properties if their rental license if threatened by the city. Enforcing rental licensing issues can be a long, complicated process involving an administrative law judge.

Ward 6 Report - City Council Member Robert Lilligren

Robert Lilligren reminded property owners to shovel their sidewalks. Report violations to 311 or online. Senior citizens who need help shoveling can call 612-673-3567 to find out what resources are available.

Starting on 1/31, the city will conduct a random phone survey of about 1,100 residents, which is part of an ongoing effort to improve services. Potential federal budget cutes will hurt the city: stimulus money which helped close gaps in the budget last year has dried up; heating assistance for low income households may decrease; and community development block grants are almost certain to be reduced.

Follow up -

Robert.Lilligren@ci.minneapolis.mn.us, 612-673-2206

Safety Coordinator Report - Dave Delvoye - 

During 2010, Law Enforcement Group tracked the outcome of 98 neighborhood cases involving 45 chronic offenders. The results of all these cases were reported to the committee. SSCO's monthly chronic offender update included cases involving:

 

  • Ethelyn Redeyes - 8/9/10 possession of liquor in Stevens Square Park.
  • Duane Roy - 12/1/10 gross misdemeanor trespassing at Franklin and Nicollet.
  • Leanne Kehoe - 12/16/10 possession of drug paraphernalia at 18th and Nicollet.
  • Vosiney Wiley - 10/27/10 possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of prescription drugs belonging to another person at 22nd and Pillsbury.
  • Willis Taylor - 10/25/1- open bottle at 19th and Nicollet.

 

SSCO submitted two community impact statements in the past month:

 

  • Daryl Brooks (39 arrests in the area in the past seven years) - 10/7/10 trespassing at 2119 Pillsbury Ave.
  • Maurice Patterson (28 arrests in the area in the past seven years) - 9/17/10 public urination at Franklin and Nicollet.

 

Follow up - 

Contact SSCO to receive a printed or emailed copy of the monthly chronic offender update, which features the outcome of court cases resulting from arrests in the area along with the names of the sentencing judges and mugshots of the offenders.

Restorative Justice and Community Action Report - Community Coordinator Chanti Calabria

The committee welcomed Chanti Calabria, RJCA's new community organizer for Stevens Square-Loring heights. She looks forward to meeting with residents and finding out about the neighborhood. Program results for 2010 included: 288 clients successfully referred to RJCA; 284 victim or community member participants; ,ore than 2000 hours of community service provided by clients. There have been only a small number of eligible cases from this area recently, most of them involving alcohol offenses. Ken Strobel, a veteran conference facilitator for RJCA, reported on a recent conference involving two offenders and three community members. The next conference for 5th Precinct offenses is set for 3/22. Community members who work or worship downtown, even though they might live elsewhere, are needed for upcoming 1st Precinct conferences. 

Follow up - 

CCalabria@rjca-inc.org, 612-746-0784.

Block Patrol Report - Arlene Storandt - 

From 12/22/10 to 1/27/11, 7 Block Patrol volunteers participated in 14 shifts, contributing a total of 30 hours. Arlene Storandt reported that Block Patrol teams did not have to make a single 911 call during the period. Lucy Minn invited residents of Eat Street Flats to contact SSCO if interested in joining Block Patrol. Block Patrol plans to door-knock apartment buildings once a week during February to promote SSCO and recruit new volunteers.

During 2010, 26 volunteers contributed 895 hours total to Block Patrol. A core group of ten volunteers each contributed 24 or more hours. Two new members joined Block Patrol; five inactive members returned. Three members moved away and five others became inactive.

Follow up - 

Contact SSCO to join Block Patrol. Applications and guidelines are at the SSCO web site. 

SSCO's Five-Year Strategic Plan - 

The SSCO Board has asked all committees to coordinate their plans and activities with the priorities established in the SSCO five-year strategic plan. The plan is flexible and able to be changed from year to year depending on circumstances. Copies of the strategies identified in the plan were distributed, along with the committee's priorities and plans for 2010-2011 which were approved by the Board in September. 

Instead of going through the entire plan point by point, the committee opted to consider the items already identified by the co-chairs, who had studied the document and met with staff to develop recommendations. The committee decided to work on the following action items in the strategic plan:

Strategy: Build volunteer and staff capacity.

Action item: Safety Committee, Block Patrol, and staff will demonstrate expertise to address pertinent issues.

Comment: Committee meetings, Block Patrol shifts, and Law Enforcement Group connections all help to develop volunteer and staff problem-solving skills.

Strategy: Improve marketing and communications.

Action item: Safety committee will recruit volunteers for the SSCO's speaker's bureau.

Strategy: Support the work of committees.

Action item: Safety committee has created an annual work plan.

Action item: Safety committee has established ad hoc work groups as needed, such as the Alcohol task force.

Action item: Safety committee and Block Patrol will increase the number of volunteers and the amount of volunteer time by 10% in the next year.

Strategy: Build strategic partnerships.

Action item: Safety committee will sustain its active partnership with Law Enforcement Group.

Under this strategy, there was a suggestion that SSCO strengthen its partnerships with neighborhood businesses. For example, businesses should be aware of, and support, efforts of Block Patrol. The lack of business association in the neighborhood was of special concern, especially when compared to Whittier business association's efforts. Council Member Lilligren acknowledged that the lack of organizational infrastructure for businesses in Stevens Square-Loring Heights has long been and issue. SSCO has offered to help business owners organize, but not to lead the effort. There have been two business organizations formed in the neighborhood during the past decade, with help from the 5th Precinct and SSCO. The Franklin-Nicollet business network was organized by two property owners in 2000 and successfully focused on reducing livability crime at that location. The group lasted just over a year. In 2007, a business owner tried to organize businesses along Nicollet Ave from 18th St to 22nd St. The project produced a contact list, but the group never met. About half of the businesses on that list are now gone. In the meantime, SSCO has worked to attract developers and new businesses to the area with the help of a marketing study. SSCO has also publicized city resources available to businesses, including the matching grants for facade improvements in commercial corridors. Further consideration of these issues should be referred to the Neighborhood Development committee.

The meeting concluded with an anecdote from Ray Alex Perry regarding a chronic offender who asked a citizen to call 911 and request that police transport him to detox, only to end up in jail (and eventually the workhouse) after officers found that he had four warrants.

Meeting adjourned at 7:24 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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Related Content:

“We the people of Stevens Square-Loring Heights have the right to, and recognize our collective responsibility to foster, a neighborhood that is safe, clean, respectful and friendly.”

Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) has in place a comprehensive and proactive safety and crime prevention program that works successfully with law enforcement to reduce and prevent crime by bringing to the table significant volunteer involvement and staff expertise.  SSCO has the longest active Block Patrol in the city, which has been highly effective.  Block Patrol is a way for residents to communicate with the organization regarding concerns, and a way for the organization to connect with residents to promote safety in the neighborhood.

The Stevens Square-Loring Heights NRP Building Safety Improvement Program aims to support property owners and tenants in their efforts to increase the safety of the neighborhood through improvements to their buildings and environs. This program was formerly known as the Lighting and Fencing Program, but has been expanded to include other safety-related improvements, as described in the guidelines. It is funded in full by the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program in conjunction with the priorities of the members of the Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhood, and is implemented with the support of the 5th Precinct SAFE Unit.

I you are interested in applying for a safety grant, please contact SSCO’s Safety Coordinator at (612) 874-2840.

Here are a few useful links to local and state safety-related sites.

Restorative Justice Community Action

Please join us on Tuesday, May 8th from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Plymouth Church (1900 Nicollet Ave - use the Lasalle Ave entrance).

Learn how to keep yourself and you neighbors safe. Topics will include the recent fire at 137 East 17th St, preventing fires in multi-unit buildings, evacuation plans, fire inspection procedures, and renters insurance. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

City Council Member Robert Lilligren will facilitate the meeting. Presenters will include Minneapolis Fire Department staff and a member of the Minnesota Multi Housing Association. Co-sponsored by Mint Properties, Stevens Community Apartments, The Apartment Shop, Kleinman Realty, Copenhagen Enterprises and Rand Management.

Please call 612-874-2840 with questions.

Don't talk trash . . . pick it up!

SSCO's Spring Clean Sweep is set for:

Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to noon.  Meet at Stevens Square Park, East 18th St & 2nd Ave South.

Compete for the prize (an Electric Fetus gift card) for finding the most unusual piece of trash!

Saturday May 26th at the Overlook Gardens on 17th street between 2nd and Stevens: We will be meeting at 10:30 a.m. Come be part of the native habitat garden we have been installing. We need volunteers to help clean and add some more plants.

Brought to you by Stevens Square Community Organization and Minneapolis Park Board.

Contact Robert Skafte for questions:
skafte7@gmail.com or 612 750 3779

Stevens Square Community Organization's annual meeting is set for:

Saturday, June 9, 2012
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., the meeting begins at 10:00 a.m.
Plymouth Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave.
(Use the LaSalle Ave entrance.)

On the agenda:

Election of Board officers and directors: chair, secretary, and four at-large directors.
Updates from committee co-chairs on SSCO activities.
Reports from public officials.

Eligible voters include anyone 16 years of age or older who lives, owns property, or is employed (up to two employees per business) in the Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhood. Please bring a form of identification verifying that you are eligible to vote, such as a current Minnesota driver's license or identification card, utility statement, lease agreement, state or county tax statement, a pay stub showing employment in the neighborhood, or an eligible voter to vouch for you.

For more information, call SSCO at (612) 874-2840.