MPD reports drop in violent crime over first 90 days of Operation Endeavor
The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) released a progress report on the first 90 days of Operation Endeavor, an interagency effort that officials say is targeting the city’s worst offenders.
The report released on Monday details the period between Sept. 27 and Dec. 17 and shows a decrease in crime statistics in several areas compared with the same period in 2021.
RELATED: Minneapolis police release latest Operation Endeavor update
“Operation Endeavor has proven to be giving us an opportunity to go after some very violent offenders,” said Cedric Alexander, commissioner for Minneapolis’ Office of Community Safety.
The 90-day report also states the initiative is entering its “second stage” where the department aims to “better engage business and community groups in our efforts.”
In the next couple months, Alexander plans to hold an “Operation Endeavor summit” by bringing together business figures with the Office of Community Safety to discuss what’s working and what’s needed to keep up the positive momentum.
“There’s been success here,” said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “We had conditions that were not acceptable and this intervention, this cooperative effort with law enforcement at the core, but not the only thing, has really made a difference.”
MPD and its partners are trying to carry out their mission as policing in the United States faces renewed criticism following the killing of Tyre Nichols.
Nichols was beaten by members of the now-disbanded, Memphis Police Department’s “SCORPION unit” – standing for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhood – made up of about 30 officers, split into different teams, that patrolled “high crime hotspots.”
“We’re not going to have SCORPION units – we’re not going to have any of those types of details,” Alexander said.
While the disbanded unit and Operation Endeavor are both a response to violent crime, Alexander reassured citizens his team is doing it the right way.
“This is a full-scale operation that entails a great deal of sophistication,” Alexander said about Operation Endeavor, adding, “This is just not some unit we put together and send them out into the street to enforce laws. This is very well-planned, this required training, this required good supervision, this required discipline.”
Another key point from the 90-Day Report states there have been no formal complaints made against any law enforcement officer working an Operation Endeavor shift as of Dec. 17, 2022.
View more details about Monday’s release below.
A decline in gun activity
Notably, MPD reported gun-related calls for service had declined 38.1% from the same time in 2021, the number of gunshot wound victims had decreased by 29.8% and carjackings had dropped 65.2%. Those categories were all down from the 90-day period immediately preceding Operation Endeavor as well.
MPD cited those three categories as the “most representative of gun-related violence.”
There was also a significant drop in total gunshots detected by the city’s ShotSpotter system during Operation Endeavor’s first three months. The number of rounds fired declined from 7,369 to 3,896 from year to year, a 47% decrease. Fully automatic rounds dropped from 996 to 454, a 54.4% decrease.
Minneapolis only uses ShotSpotter to detect gunfire on the city’s Northside and in the neighborhoods bound by Interstate 94, Interstate 35W and Highway 55 to the south.
Police credit a “significant arrest” at the end of August, before the start of Operation Endeavor, with a dramatic fall in automatic gunfire and guns recovered, including automatic gun components like auto sears.
“We have seen a welcomed decrease in violent crime over the past several months,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. “While the numbers are trending in the right direction, that doesn’t mean our work is done. Our Office of Community Safety continues to work alongside local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and community outreach teams who have been integral partners in the success of Operation Endeavor. We are well on our way but now have to push even further.”
It’s worth noting that Minneapolis crime statistics have shown a general fall in violent crime since 2020, with progressively lower summertime peaks in shots fired calls and gunshot wound victims in 2021 and 2022 followed by falls in activity starting in autumn and continuing into winter.
RELATED: Minneapolis violent crime numbers drop significantly in 2022
Establishing a footprint
The Operation Endeavor report also updated the progress of the city’s Department of Neighborhood safety, which includes the city’s Violence Interrupter teams.
MPD said Violence Interrupters made over 3,500 contacts in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, along Lake Street, in north Minneapolis and downtown. Some of their focus included connecting residents with housing and substance use resources, along with necessities such as food and winter clothes.
The report also elaborated on the increased police presence downtown, called “Guardian Beats.” MPD claimed that “criminal narcotic dealing was unobservable” within the first two weeks of increasing patrols downtown.
“Criminals began to associate the walking beats and the staged police department equipment with a high possibility of arrest,” the report states.
Additionally, Downtown Improvement District (DID) ambassadors were credited with establishing an increased presence in the skyway system to assist pedestrians and visitors while also working to deescalate certain situations.
Read the full report below: