MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The City of Minneapolis is reporting some of the lowest levels of violent crime the city has seen since the 1960s.
According to figures released Friday by Minneapolis Police, overall violent crime in 2011 fell 6.3 percent from 2010 levels. The department reported an overall decrease in violent crime of 42 percent since 2005. Homicides have decreased in similar proportion since 2006.
The numbers reflect the lowest incidence of violent crime in the city since 1983.
However, the death of 3-year-old Terrell Mayes Jr., who suffered a seemingly random bullet to the head in his home in December, certainly casts a shadow over what city leaders call dramatic progress.
Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan attributes the drop in violent crime to community involvement, newer technology (like the ShotSpotters, which detect gunfire) and an emphasis on getting guns off the street. Last year, police recovered 515 guns.
WCCO’s Steve Murphy Interviews Tim Dolan
Two of the areas police said they still need to work on is the number of young people committing crimes. Over the summer, three teenagers died of gunshot wounds in north Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said the community also has to be “resolved to make sure if one young person is lost, all of us have to double down our efforts and make it even safer.”
The city says that after years of cuts, they’ll have more money in 2012 to put into programs to help kids and teenagers.
Minneapolis also says its work in deterring crime in specific places, such as Peavey Park, has paid off. One reason the Peavey Park efforts worked so well is because an emphasis was put on scheduling family-friendly activities in the park. Those activities brought in friendly people and discourage troublemakers.
On the other hand, Minneapolis has seen an increase in crimes like burglary and theft. Taken together, violent crime and property crime are up 4.3 percent.
Authorities said that in 95 percent of property crimes could have been prevented. Authorities advise people to keep their garage doors shut and to never store valuables (like computers) in their cars.