If you’re out and about in Minneapolis this year, there’s a good chance you’ll see one or more police officers walking around on foot patrols. That’s because Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau said the city plans to have more cops walking the beat this year to bring a more suburban feel to the city.
The announcement of more foot patrols comes on the heels of the announcement that violent crime rates in the city hit a 30-year low in 2016. However, gun violence surged in the city in 2016, so Harteau said police want to make a concentrated effort to be more present in the community and cut down on weapons crimes. She said the city earned a $325,000 grant from the Department of Justice, which will be put towards reducing gang and clique-related violence.
“I’m in every neighborhood in Minneapolis and I know that it’s hard out there for too many people,” said Harteau. “The increase in shootings especially in north Minneapolis and downtown has led to lives lost, including children and senior citizens, families torn apart. The communities on edge. I see this. I know this. I feel this.”
Gun Violence In Minneapolis
Looking back at the data, we can see that there were 344 total gunshot victims in Minneapolis in 2016, or nearly one a day. What’s more concerning is that eight percent of gunshot victims were between the ages of 11 and 17. Homicides also fell from 47 to 38 in 2016, but we’re not off to a great start in 2017. In just over three weeks, Minneapolis has already experienced three homicides. At this point in 2016, we only had one homicide on the books.
Harteau said the recent shootings are problematic because the shooters had little disregard for police in the area.
“We have shootings where people don’t care that cops are right around the corner. We continue to have uncooperative victims who hinder our investigations and prefer street justice,” said Chief Harteau. “We need relationship building. We need public trust — because that’s how you achieve public safety to the level that you can.”
The rise in gun violence isn’t isolated to Minneapolis, either. Recent statistics say gun violence also soared in St. Paul in 2016. If you or someone you love was victimized by gun violence, or you find yourself facing a weapons charge, reach out to the attorneys at Appelman Law Firm. We have connections with victim resources and we understand the gun laws in the area, so we can help you out of a sticky situation. Don’t hesitate to call Avery Appelman at (952) 224-2277 in your time of need.