MINNEAPOLIS (May 16, 2014) — Following a meeting Friday with community leaders and stakeholders about Northside gun violence, Minneapolis Chief of Police Janee Harteau came out quickly setting the tone for the press conference;
“This is a continuation of the Northside Safety Summit. This is the first step of phase one; this is no longer a conversation, this is action.” The actions come from the commitments made at the public safety summit which was a gathering of police, community, city, and justice system leaders.
Chief Harteau, flanked by ranking members of multiple law enforcement agencies, both local and national, delivered a strong message that gun violence will be dealt with directly and decisively on all levels of enforcement and prosecution. Chief Harteau stated that this is not about over-policing, but rather over-protect our citizens.
Assistant US Attorney Andy Luger continued the sentiment by stating “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to take people off the streets that are involved in these sorts of crimes.”
On June 1, Chief Harteau said, Joint Enforcement Teams (JET) will hit the Northside precinct to address calls that are associated with gun violence. These cars may have a Minneapolis Police Officer and a Metro Transit Officer in them; they may have a Minneapolis Police Officer and a Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputy in them. These will be additional shifts added; not a reallocation of resources from other areas of the city. Chief Harteau thanked Mayor Hodges and the City Council for their support of this program as well as the financial considerations to make it happen.
“This is the type of cooperation between levels of government and the community that our residents expect and deserve as we work together to keep North Minneapolis and our entire city safe,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges.
Sheriff Rich Stanek spoke about his department’s willingness to be a part of the JET patrols and thanked Chief Harteau for her broad vision and willingness to include them.
Another portion of this will be the introduction of additional bicycle patrols conducted by the school resource officers from the schools in that area. The kids know these officers and are often drawn to them. This strengthens relationship and promotes community engagement.
Council President Barb Johnson, joined by Public Safety Committee Chairman Councilman Blong Yang and Councilman Andrew Johnson, spoke of her support for these measures. She shared a story that illustrated the challenges of her constituents who deal with the sounds of gun fire both night and day. They look forward to the positive changes these initiatives will bring.
Bishop Howell spoke of the faith patrol that started last night, May 15, 2014. He stated “No one should have to run from their community to be safe!” The faith patrol brings a great deal to the community, whether it is engagement, conversation, or friendship. “This is about bringing hope to where they live,” Howell shared.
Chief Harteau reminded people that this is only phase one of an 11 point plan that will be introduced throughout the summer. “We must remain fluid in order for this plan to be effective.” Chief Harteau thanked the myriad of stakeholders for their support and willingness to make a difference in our city.
Attending: MPD Chief Harteau; Assistant Chief Matt Clark; Sgt. Robert Berry; John Stiles from the Office of Mayor Betsy Hodges; Minneapolis Parks Police Chief Jason Ohotto; Metro Transit Police Captain Mike Livine; Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek Office; Chief Deputy Mike Carlson; Minn. Department of Public Safety Dep. Commissioner Mary Ellison; Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Luger; Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Jane Rhodes-Wolfe; ATF Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweeton; City Council President Barbara Johnson; Council Public Safety Chairman Blong Yang; MAD DAD’s VJ Smith; Shilo Temple Bishop Howell; and Church of the Ascension Father Michael O’Connell.