With violent crime on the rise in 2021, Minneapolis leaders seek solutions
- Since the start of the year, homicides have been slightly more than double in 2021 compared to 2020.
- The police department seized 100 fewer guns this year – about 300 guns in all.
- Theft of firearms from vehicles is up more than 100% to 46.
As the department shared statistics on the violence, members of Minneapolis City Council began asking questions about guns in particular.
“Are we doing a lot to determine where the weapons are coming from?” Asked Cam Gordon, Ward 2 council member. “Do we think there are gun dealers who come in with trunks full of guns and sell them?”
“Do we think there are small purchases of straw outside in the suburbs? Do we think they are bought legally through a gun show or gun store and just buy a bunch of guns? “
To help add context to the numbers and answer these questions, Commander Jason Case was also part of the virtual meeting.
“I think all of those things you talked about are possibilities that are happening or that have happened,” Case said.
Regarding the lower number of firearms taken off the streets by the ministry this year, Case said one reason was the number of officers on the street.
“What I can say with a high level of certainty is that we regularly collect weapons every week. While the numbers may be going down, our staff is also going down, as you know, which could play a role, ”said Case.
He also mentioned that he was working with federal partners to get ahead of this activity.
It wasn’t just crunchy numbers. Alongside the MPD was the Violence Prevention Office (OVP) – both shared what they are doing now and in the future to tackle violence.
Case says the department is focusing more intensely on gun investigations at this time, which includes targeting people or groups known to have and use guns.
The OVP spent most of its time collapsing LIFE project and its strategic outreach initiative.
Project Life works on group or gang intervention against violence. An OVP representative said he was able to increase his staffing so that the new recruit specifically focused on gun violence.
As for the OVP’s Strategic Outreach Initiative, some of its members will participate in a training session this month. Global Violence Cure. The organization works to stop and slow the violence by treating it as a health problem.
The OVP hopes that this training will be deployed in specific neighborhoods by mid-June.