Minneapolis police reveal crime-fighting strategy

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minneapolis police plan joint patrols with other law enforcement agencies to crack down on gun violence on the city’s north side over the summer, officials said Friday.

Civilian patrols also are planned to patrol north Minneapolis neighborhoods that have seen violent crime. The plans were drawn from a “Northside Safety Summit” held last month, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/S0ypiF ) reported.

At the summit, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau brought together top law enforcement officials from across the Twin Cities to meet with north Minneapolis neighborhood representatives, faith leaders and others to talk about crime and the city’s north side.

Speaking Friday, Harteau stressed that the strategy relies on coordinating law enforcement agencies and building relationships.

“It’s about commitment and synergy; this is just the beginning,” she said.

The joint patrols, dubbed Joint Enforcement Teams, could see Minneapolis officers patrolling with officers from other agencies, perhaps the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office or Metro Transit Police department, Harteau said. They will patrol areas with a history of violent crime. The patrols will be in addition to what’s already scheduled and paid for, Harteau said.

City Council President Barb Johnson said funding for the JET patrols hasn’t been approved yet. They’re scheduled to begin June 1, according to Harteau.

The civilian patrols began Thursday evening. V.J. Smith, the president of the Minneapolis chapter of MAD DADS, and Bishop Richard D. Howell of Shiloh Temple said the first “faith patrol” walked along West Broadway.

“We took a group of young men out with us that were formerly in gangs,” Smith said. “What we want to do is not to only patrol but to show them what it’s like to give back.”

Authorities said they’ll also seek to aggressively prosecute crimes of gun violence in federal court. The plan also calls for putting school resource officers on bike patrols.

Data released last month showed there were 1,442 gun incidents in Minneapolis last year - the highest the city has seen since 2008, the Star Tribune reported. The number is up 8 percent from 1,330 in 2012 and represents a second consecutive increase.

Other anti-crime events are scheduled for Saturday. Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis is hosting a discussion on youth gun violence, and the Rev. Harding Smith is organizing a street walk in northeast Minneapolis, in response to the stabbings of two University of Minnesota students earlier this month.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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