Demand Safety Now!

This was written on October 2020 but the plan outlined is even more urgent. As of Sunday morning May 23rd, Minneapolis has seen 32 homicides in 2021 — more than double the number at the same time in 2020. Email the Mayor, right now.

Minneapolis needs a law enforcement surge

Enough reimagining already. We need a real-life solution to end the crime crisis on our streets.

By Bill Rodriguez and Jim Galvan

OCTOBER 16, 2020 — 7:31AM

Our beloved city is in crisis. Crime keeps climbing with no end in sight. Aside from City Council President Lisa Bender, few of us feel safe.

Worse yet, our police chief says that with his department shrinking at an alarming rate, some 911 calls may soon need to go unanswered. We’re on our own. This borders on anarchy — Minneapolis meets “Mad Max.”

In response to an exasperating absence of leadership and urgency, a group of us — concerned residents, many of us crime victims — recently spoke to the Minneapolis City Council’s Public Health and Safety Committee. Our message: Enough is enough; do something now!

We’re not activists or government insiders, but with City Hall rudderless and adrift, someone has to step up and offer solutions. That’s what we did. We advocated for an immediate short-term surge of uniformed law enforcement on the streets — a focused 60-day mission we call Operation Safety Now.

Its goals: Restore calm and confidence, and buy time to put longer-term action plans in place. Here’s the three-step approach we’d deploy:

1. Convene leaders. We’d immediately host a leadership summit of city and state leaders — the mayor, police chief, Gov. Tim Walz, state Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, City Council members and others essential to the mission.

All these folks appear to be talking past each other — if they’re talking at all. Quick action is key, so we’d keep group size to an essential minimum.

2. Collaborate on a plan. We’d insist these leaders emerge with a 60-day emergency plan that puts more deterrence and protection on our streets. Our city needs a surge of uniformed law enforcement to back our depleted police. Every option should be on the table: Federal resources, part-time cops from neighboring cities, deeper involvement from partners like the Metropolitan Transit Police and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, plus limited, strategic use of the state National Guard.

Studies show that more visible law enforcement — including via surges — means less crime. The problem is our police force is maxed. The current practice of shutting some services and shifting those officers to patrols is a shell game that’s not sustainable. We need more cavalry. Our leaders need to be creative and aggressive in finding more ways to put feet on the streets.