St. Paul councilmember wants urgency in solving crime problem

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St. Paul City Councilmember Jane Prince told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she is "frustrated" with the slow pace of addressing a rising violent crime problem which she says is "happening throughout the city."

"We just don’t have the time anymore to just kind of look at the problem and only feel bad about the rise in crime," Prince said. "We’ve got to get people into a room and come together with a cohesive plan to solve it."

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi was scheduled to give a presentation to the council Wednesday about the rise in crime and how his office is handling cases right now, but he postponed that presentation so he could gather more specific information from council members to give them more detailed answers to their questions, which frustrated Prince.

"John Choi is a terrific public servant and I know he’s working hard on this issue and it is complicated," Prince said. "But, I am disappointed because the public needs and expects to hear from their elected officials, working across jurisdictions, when there is a terrible problem like random, violent crime happening throughout our city."

Increase in crime on Grand Avenue in St. Paul leaves businesses, neighbors concerned

Council President Amy Brendmoen told KSTP she and Choi were meeting with Mayor Melvin Carter this Friday and that Choi will be meeting with individual city council members in the coming days. She added that there will be a full, detailed presentation from Choi’s office in the weeks ahead.

Brendmoen said the council "is also hosting a series of gun violence panel discussions later in March and April, which will involve different parts of the justice system, the city, county and community groups working on the issue."

A spokesperson for Choi said Choi intends to make a detailed presentation to city council members after he learns what their specific questions are so he can give them a comprehensive report that is tailored to their specific concerns.