MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct has a new leader, and he is no stranger to the north side.
Inspector Aaron Biard grew up in south Minneapolis and worked as a beat officer there and in other capacities from traffic to investigations. His work in the Police Athletic League and as Fourth Precinct day watch commander prepared him for his current position.
WCCO’s Reg Chapman sat down with Inspector Biard to talk about some of his plans.
Inspector Aaron Biard says his work within the Minneapolis Police Department is a calling, something he knew he was meant to do since his time at Washburn High School.
Now he leads officers in the Fourth Precinct, in an area of town faced with challenges.
“There really is no shortage of crime on the north side and that’s no secret and really when you look at and we do and analyze it is young offenders,” said Inspector Biard.
Inspector Biard is concerned about the number of guns on the street, and the young people who are responsible for the violence.
“Neighborhoods are caught in the middle of this and it’s got to stop,” Biard said.
Inspector Biard believes getting active with juveniles before they are caught up in the system is necessary to bring about change.
“We have things in place, programs in place, units in place that are addressing specifically targeting these groups that are committing the crimes. That kind of the philosophy we’ve moved away from just random stopping everybody to actually targeting who we need to be targeting to get the violence reduced,” Biard said.
And MPD is seeing results, a 16 percent reduction in violent crime to date in the precinct. Fourth Precinct officers are also responsible for taking 60 percent of the guns recovered city-wide off the streets.
But he knows having community partners is the only way to fight back effectively.
“We have to have a grass root effort of one block at a time. People taking ownership of their blocks, being involved knowing their neighbors,” Biard said.
Inspector Biard says he expects his officers to be professional and to walk the beat and do business checks to engage with different people in the community. He says it not only builds legitimacy for officers, it helps solve crimes and get tips by building positive relationships.