MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis’ top cop says there’s a lack of adequate consequences for people shooting guns, which is one of many reasons why violent crime numbers are so high.
At Sojourner Truth Academy Monday morning, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges held a press conference to talk about crime numbers.READ MORE: Most People Are Looking Forward To Holiday 'Firsts' This Year
They said homicides were down 19 percent last year, compared to the year before.
“We had nine fewer people killed (in 2016) than the year before,” Harteau said. “One homicide is too many, but nine fewer is great.”
Police also say that robberies and burglaries are down.
However, violent crime incidents in general were up.
Harteau linked the high numbers to a small number of violent criminals committing the lion’s share of crimes and an increased access to firearms.
“People have more access to weapons, and they’re not afraid to use them,” Harteau.READ MORE: Dalvin Cook To Undergo MRI For Shoulder Injury
Harteau says beat officers are essential. She says she wants officer and community members to know each other on a first name basis.
The police department has partnered with different organizations, like Youthlink MN, which helps homeless youth.
“We need relationship building, we need public trust,” Harteau said. “We’re bringing cops to the community, we’re not asking the community to come to us.”
Hodges says she has a 5-year plan to add more officers to the street.
She says that a cop on every corner still won’t help bring the numbers down. And re-iterated that it’s important for police to make a relationship with community members.
Out of the two community speakers at the press conference, no one spoke from north Minneapolis, where the majority of the violent crime in the city takes place.
Watch the entire press conference below:MORE NEWS: Cyber Monday Means Busy Day For Twin Cities Amazon Workers