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Violent Crime Up 4 Percent In Minneapolis

Still, It Remains One Of The Lowest Levels In 30 Years
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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Violent crime is up by 4 percent in Minneapolis but overall it remains at one of the lowest levels in 30 years.

Homicide is down from last year and so is rape.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau rolled out the crime stat numbers for 2013.

“The second precinct saw the largest crime reduction in the city,” said Chief Harteau.

But there are other areas of the city dealing with an increase in crime, like north Minneapolis.

“The solutions there have to do with policing but it also has to do with community relationships. It also has to do with whether or not we are doing job creation, housing,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.

Julianne Leerssen is executive director of Neighborhood Hub in north Minneapolis. She said the responsibility relies on the residents, as well.

“I think the community has got to be really involved,” she said.

She sees better community police relations especially with Chief Harteau’s North Side beat program, where officers interact with people who live in the community.

“Kind of bringing the suburban feel to the big city to where you know who that officer is,” Harteau said.

Leerssen believes more attention needs to be paid to livability and equity issues for everyone.

“A lot of crime comes in my opinion in certain communities because there are not a lot of viable options for employment, education and housing and people are continuously struggling,” Leerssen said.

What is working, MPD’s focus on burglary and juvenile crime, two areas where there has been a decrease.

“One hundred and sixty-seven fewer families experienced a burglary this year than they did last year,” Hodges said.

Good policing and engaging with communities, things Chief Harteau believes are helping drive down crime, are things MPD will continue into 2014.

MPD will focus on lowering robbery and assaults in 2014. It will also focus on recruiting in an effort to further diversify the Minneapolis Police Department.

Mayor Hodges said she is committed to finding funds to hire additional officers.

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