Minneapolis launches MinneapolUS Strategic Outreach Initiative to decrease violence

The city of Minneapolis on Tuesday announced a new plan to try to decrease violence.

The MinneapolUS Strategic Outreach Initiative is a pilot program that puts "violence interrupters" on the streets in an effort to de-escalate situations before they become violent.

The city said similar strategies like Cure Violence have led to a 63% drop in shooting victims in New York City and a 56% reduction in homicides in Baltimore.

According to the city, the interrupters will wear bright orange "MinneapolUS" t-shirts.

"By investing in our MinneapolUS violence interrupters team, we’re investing in trusted partnerships and data-driven, public health-based responses," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. "It’s on all of us to step up and think differently about public safety, and this initiative marks another direct approach to preventing and disrupting the spread of violence within our Office of Violence Prevention."

"We all need all hands on deck to stop the unacceptable violence rising particularly among young people in Minneapolis," added Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender. "Violence interrupters help stop violence before it happens and are an important part of our work to make sure every person in Minneapolis is safe, especially in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by violence."

The Minneapolis Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention initiative complements existing outreach organizations’ work already on Minneapolis’ streets, employing a specific approach built on the idea that violence is a public health issue. The city says the approach is rooted in the power of Minneapolis communities.

You can find more information on the Office of Violence Prevention’s programs here.