Minneapolis residents look to city leaders to address surge in violent crime

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Over 650 people were shot and more than 2,000 robberies, including carjackings, happened in Minneapolis last year.

That’s on top of a near-record number of homicides.

The focus now is on how these crimes are being solved.

City leaders say dedicating more investigative resources to robberies and carjackings is a top priority. However, with a limited staff, there are challenges.

Mayor Jacob Frey spoke about the crime last year during a Wednesday news conference.

"The violent and criminal conduct that we have seen in Minneapolis and surrounding cities throughout the last several months is garbage," Frey said.

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Soon to be the interim Minneapolis police chief, Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman is focusing on re-working resources to get more eyes on certain crimes.

"We’re currently in the process of reshuffling our investigative resources to provide more investigative support for robbery and carjacking investigations," Huffman said.

However, Huffman says their resources are limited because they’re low on personnel, adding the amount of applications to join the force has dropped 50%. The department is rolling out different initiatives to hire future officers.

"It’s clear for us that the alternate pathways, community service officers, and cadets, as well as lateral hiring, will be very important to us to rebuild the strength of the department."

Frey says one of the rollouts—the Community Service Officer Program—is an option for those who want to serve but don’t have the expertise.

"We’ll help you," Frey said. "We’ll train you when you already have those community connections. We want to give you the necessary skill and expertise so that you can help keep people safe in our city."

The effort is in the hope that residents, like Eric Wood, don’t have to think twice about sticking around.

"This is home, so it’s tough to say. I keep coming back no matter where I go."

Frey says five recruiting classes are underway, but they need applicants to fill them.

He says tackling the crime increase is complex; there are a lot of different moving parts and seeing results will take time.