Minneapolis violent crime drops during first part of 2023
Although still above pre-pandemic levels, violent crime has decreased this year in Minneapolis, and city leaders are praising community engagement among other factors in the trend.
Compared with the first two-and-a-half months of 2022, violent crime is down in every major category. In some of those categories, the crime rate has decreased significantly.
According to Minneapolis Crime Dashboard data through March 19, 2023, the city has had fewer assaults, homicides, thefts, robberies, carjackings and injuries by gunfire this year.
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Minneapolis Commissioner of Community Safety Cedric Alexander told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the decrease in violent crime can be attributed to the Minneapolis Police Department’s efforts to work more closely with community groups, violence interrupters and the Downtown Council.
“Because, at the end of the day, this is all about building relationships. We cannot police alone, all by ourselves, it takes a concerted effort,” said Alexander.
“I think what’s significantly different here is that, over the last number of months, we have been able to engage the community in our crime fighting efforts in terms of keeping this community safe.”
The Rev. Jerry McAfee, who heads up “21 Days of Peace” in Minneapolis, told KSTP there has been great collaboration and better communication between community groups and MPD, which has helped improve trust between community members and police.
“I have not yet received one complaint of someone saying that they’ve been victimized by police during Operation Endeavor. So, I think the attitude has been shifting and changing,” said McAfee.
Operation Endeavor, which was launched by MPD last fall, involved a crackdown on criminal hot spots with the help of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and several federal investigative agencies. It’s something Alexander said will continue as the warmer weather arrives and crime increases.
“Coupled with our business community, this is what we’re going to have to continue to do going forward,” said Alexander.