Robert Olson and Mike Salter discuss National Night Out

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Tuesday night is "National Night Out," when more than 32 million people around the country are expected to gather with their neighbors to build their community and prevent crime. We'll get an update on the crime situation in Minnesota from Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson, and Sgt. Mike Salter of the Minnesota Gang Strike Force.

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(00:00:09) Good morning, and welcome to the first hour of midday on Minnesota Public Radio John Ray be sitting in for Gary eichten. Tonight tens of millions of Americans will gather outside their homes for a few minutes or a few hours for the 16th. Annual National Night Out in Minneapolis alone will involve 1800 blocks and possibly 40,000 people National Night Out means different things to different blocks for some it's just another of a series of black meetings with maybe a little more celebrating this time for other areas. That may be the only time neighbors really get together. But in all blocks, these people are not talking about Lawn Care hail damage. They're talking about crime and how to stop it there talking about strategies that work and what doesn't in st. Paul they may well be talking about the recent Spate of Asian gang shootings in all those conversations. You can be sure there will be plenty of speculation mixed with the facts in this hour of midday will try to get the facts on crime in Minnesota. I guess our Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson in our Minneapolis bureau chief. Thanks for joining us. Hi and Sergeant Mike Salter. Of the Minnesota gang Strike Force and he's with me here in st. Paul Sergeant. Thank you for coming in. Thank you. John glad to be here. We'd like your comments as well to in our listening audience. Give us a call six five. One two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand or 1-800 to four to Twenty Eight twenty eight one eight hundred two, four two 2828 any questions you might have about crime about crime Trends any comments you may have this is not just a Twin Cities conversation this hour of. Midday. We're talking Statewide. So give us a call wherever you are if you're in Duluth or in Woodbury or in Minneapolis 6512276 thousand in the Twin Cities or 1-800 to for to 2828 Chief. Let me start with you since this is National Night Out. What do you want people to be talking about tonight? (00:02:11) Well what I hope they'll be talking about is about themselves with their neighbors about themselves about the things that go on in their neighborhood. What's good? What's Bad and maybe talk about what they as a neighborhood in a community can do about it. What is that talking? Well, I think what I think it accomplished a lot of things one is when people get to know each other and know about them. They know what belongs what doesn't belong what's unusual and so that as the year goes by and each neighbor who should be looking out for each other sees things that don't fit aren't right. They can they can work with us and certainly with the neighbors to resolve those issues and anything suspicious. They know it's suspicious because they know their neighbor and they know that car doesn't belong there that person coming out of the back doesn't look right. Those are the kind of things that really help us make those neighborhoods (00:03:04) safe. I assume you stopped by a number of block meetings on National Night Out. (00:03:09) Oh, yes. I've got a regular route. I try and catch the South part of Minneapolis and work my way North. I live on the North side. Okay, (00:03:16) and in talking with people at those block meetings and the celebrations, do you find yourself correcting misperceptions about crime and The (00:03:22) appleís not always actually Minneapolis is neighborhoods are pretty well connected with their Police Department in the connected with their neighborhoods. They know what's going on. They get the numbers and mostly they want to talk to me about specific issues and discuss them with me and many of these blocks just to tell me how much they appreciate what those good officers are doing for them out there. (00:03:45) Okay, and nobody complains like well, I (00:03:47) mean the complaints there's always always complaints and frankly that's good because we need to have and I need to have a pulse on the neighborhood's on what's going out there and what they're feeling like so that I can keep that in our planning and operational (00:04:03) plans. Okay, tell me what some of those complaints are. (00:04:06) Well frankly. I was at a meeting last Wednesday, for example for neighborhoods on the North side where we have our Lowry substation and it was it was interesting to note that from two years ago when the issues were shots fired and A lot of violent crimes that the shift of complaints was to traffic offenses and I looked at that as a good thing actually and kind of thing we can deal with speeding cars and that kind of (00:04:34) thing. It's you're expecting them to talk about the shootings (00:04:38) all certainly didn't and actually I was and we did talk about there was a Spate of shootings as you know on the North side, but when you talk to them about what's really going on and what the facts of those cases were and the fact that even with that Spate they're still down 25% on the North side there in the 4th precinct. It brings the perception into a reality in (00:05:00) general. What are the crime Trends from (00:05:01) Minneapolis double-digit dropping in every major crime category since we initiated our code for strategy crime in Minneapolis serious crime has dropped 25% and what that means is that so far today we have over 9,000 less. Musicians in our city then we had in our base year of 1997. That's an awful lot of houses that weren't kicked in cars that weren't stolen or broken into and (00:05:33) why is that happening? (00:05:35) Well, I think that it's a combination of things certainly some demographics and National trending but Minneapolis is running at three times the national average and I firmly believe that the collaborative code for strategy of the officers out there really working hard going where the crime is happening working with the citizens who are our eyes and ears trying to preamp some of that stuff from going on with real-time technical data has really made the difference. (00:06:03) Okay, and what are the problem areas still the biggest problem areas? (00:06:07) Well, actually the the real beIN that I'm seeing out there are some parts of the city. For example our Southwest portion of we're having some real burglary issues down there that we're trying to deal with we get downtown. With all of the ramps in the thousands of people that work down there were finding issues on the parking ramps people leaving stuff in their cars that kind of thing the stabbing Friday night at the one right across the y, right? Yes, very very tragic circumstance there. I think that particular one more so involved some some family folks together possibly for too long alcohol involved in a tragic thing occurred there. We've had we've had some of those happen in that guess we'll always have those lungs. We got human beings around but all in all we're still well below that homicide was our 22nd so far this year that's compared to 36 last year and last year was was not that bad a year for us. (00:07:14) Okay, and I wanted to talk about gang activity. So I think at this point we should bring in Sergeant Mike Salter of them, Minnesota gang. Mike Force he's on assignment from the Ramsey County Sheriff's department and wanted to talk about what's been happening in st. Paul. We have had in just the last month to shooting fatalities 11 injuries 15 shootings over on this is just with with Asian gang. So what's been happening? Well, I want to stress that it's not just a Saint Paul problem and it's just not not just a Minneapolis problem in the last two months. We've had shootings in Maplewood, Oakdale Little Canada. So it's not confined to the core cities a lot of the gang members live in the suburbs and eventually some of the problems that some of the shootings do occur in the suburbs Chief Olson was talking about, you know, the crime overall being down and unfortunately in the last couple of months the Asian crime Asian gang offenses have been in an upside. You know and if you follow any group any gang you do see these Cycles up and down agent Graham gang activity seems to be an upcycled. What's troubling about this reason upcycled is that where we've had sort of rashes of shootings in the past this time. Typically there were a few victims this time. We've had several victims including a couple of homicides and why is that don't know we I mean we're looking into it. We're talking to kids on the street. It just seems that the the level of violence has ratcheted up words, whereas in the past, they'd be content to drive by a house and shoot into the house. Now, they're looking for groups of kids hanging outside the house and shooting the group. What are the and this is and this is in particular just in the last month the shootings of all involved Asian gangs. Yes. Is it mostly Hmong? Is it Vietnamese? Do we know? Yeah. It's The ones were tracking now are Hmong gangs. We've had some shootings recently with allow gangs, but the the one that's the groups that have gotten our attention or the longings as you mentioned. We've shown at least 15 incidents in the last month just over the weekend. We keep a running list. We've got five more to add from this past weekend. Wow. So 20. Yeah this does this then mean it's a feud going on retribution Tit for Tat. Yes, most of the most of the most of the activity we can attribute to three different groups that have an ongoing feud Goin but recently the tragic beating over the Steep all over the weekend was the suspects are from a group that we haven't heard from in about six months who are the three groups. You mentioned three of the group several the The white tigers purple Brothers OMB some of the mother active groups are groups called 612 hardcore or be. Those are those are most active groups. How am I an answer more questions for you about the gangs but how much gang activity, you know, generally we think of it as criminal activity. I guess how much crime are they responsible for in in st. Paul and generally in Minnesota? I can't give you percentages, but certain types of crime you look at the gun store burglaries if there's a gun store burglary at least in law enforcement. The the automatic assumption is that it was a an Asian street gang responsible for it. Asian gangs are responsible for a large percentage of drive by the drive-by shootings aggravated assaults. What about drug trade? No Etc know. No other gangs equal drugs not Asian gangs. There are some gang members that we can we know are involved in drugs some to the point of distribution, but it's not a core activity of of Asian gangs. What are they about? And we're generalizing here course, you probably are exceptions. But what are they about them? They're about the co-authors using the paper over the weekend with solidarity and that pretty much sums it up these guys the expression I like to use is like a Band of Brothers. They they hang out together. They party together, they develop rivalries with other gangs together it just the socialization in the the the pure bonding is incredibly intense and he's Asian gangs and they aren't involved in any gang activity isn't involved in any money making activity per se Other than occasionally car thefts from Autos like stereos and things like that, but they they like to hang out together and and ultimately they develop rivalries with other gangs. Our phone numbers are 6 512276 thousand in the Twin Cities 6512276 thousand or 1-800 to 4228. 28,800 242 2828. How worried are you about criminal activity? You are seeing or hearing about what do you think about the job the police are doing are you going to make use of National Night Out tonight? You're going to get out there and actually go out and talk with your neighbors has your block been involved in Block Club activities and you're either seeing some success or you're frustrated. Give us a call six five. One two, two seven six thousand or 1-800 to for to 2828 John Ray be sitting in for Gary eichten for this midday with Sergeant Mike Salter of the Minnesota gang Strike Force in our studio here in st. Paul and Minneapolis. Was police chief Robert Olson that are Minneapolis Bureau in Minneapolis City Hall Chief Olson. What's the gang situation in Minneapolis? (00:13:30) Well, we're we're experiencing a lot of the same things that Mike was talking about. And in fact, we are our gang unit coordinates very closely. In fact, the the Metro State gang Strike Force has been very active in Minneapolis as we respond to some of the shooting incidents that have occurred over here having regular meetings and going immediately to the areas where these things are happening having descriptions of gang members and trying to keep a lid on some of these folks. So the sum of the tat doesn't happen after the tit if you know what I mean? (00:14:06) Yeah. Are you seeing the scent and makes altar were the motivations with in gangs is that just Statewide Asian gangs or seem to be about solidarity or is that just in st. Paul? We look at gangs from the four different southeast Asia nationalities Cambodian Lao Hmong in Vietnamese, the street gangs of the Lao Monk and putting street gangs. I'd say it's a pretty fair statement that money-making isn't either through drugs or cash producing criminal activities. Isn't there their sole purpose for existence? What about the the interjurisdictional stuff and you just you touch down at Chief Olson, but can somebody from the Strikeforce, you know, go right to the scene of the Minneapolis gang shooting or something like (00:15:04) that. Yes, they do routinely actually and we have a standing meeting that we have immediately after any shooting that we have that appears in any way gang-related Strike Force members always there to participate and share information. We work very very clean. That's just many apples. I'm on the Statewide gang Council and an every Department in the metro area here for sure and certainly out stayed in the other task forces are routinely collaborating with each other especially now, we've got our pointer system up for gang information so that if one of our gangsters shows up in Moorhead, for example, they have the ability to identify that and then make contact with the gang Strikeforce and get further. Information find out what they're doing up (00:15:53) there. How much does the ordinary citizen need to worry about inter-gang fights? (00:15:59) Well, my my feeling would be that aside from some of those tragedies where an individual just happens to be at the wrong place. You know, Byron Phillips comes to mind the eleven-year-old that caught a straight bullet because of some of these gangsters fighting back and forth aside from that which is really a very serious issue unless the average citizens involved in some some other activity. That is probably not the best in the involve themselves with those folks. They're generally pretty pretty safe. (00:16:34) Pretty safe. What about you know, getting involved politically organizing against the interim gang crime do should people, you know, take that up as a special cause (00:16:45) well, I think people can't handle it people should just support us and the rest of the Justice and social systems that are constantly working not only overtly like law enforcement but but behind the scenes as many the Boys and Girls Clubs and all of those other agencies the Minneapolis Parks comes to mind. We have our own Police Athletic League those kinds of initiatives to really work with youth the wannabes that have a potential to be sucked into the gangs and to be very active in promoting activities that will keep kids from wanting to get involved in the gang because that's really the key to fighting gangs its Youth and in preventing youth from wanting to become part of those gang families that there are other families out there that will give them a much better life. (00:17:33) Our phone numbers 6512276 thousand in the Twin Cities or 1-800 to for to 2828. Kate is on the line from st. Paul K. Thank you for calling (00:17:44) up. I was wondering if you could talk about the role of the females. And these this monkey gang activity. (00:17:54) How come you ask about that (00:17:54) Kate? Well, because I had an opportunity to talk with a local law enforcement officer who was telling me that that there are a lot of female all-female Hmong gangs that are forming and that the female were a number of years ago if the boys got married if the Hmong boys got married they would drop out of the gang but what we're seeing now is that when the among boys get married they the girls promote them and staying in the gang because they like this exciting life. They like to play. (00:18:32) Okay, Mike Salter. Yeah. The only thing we haven't seen that yet the the point you made about the the young mung gang members having a limited gang life because they move on and marry and NFL Is that we found that to be true generally by the time they're 18, 19 20, they're developed family relations. They've developed their own families and are moving out of the gangs the other point you made we found those to be true to that. There are a couple of Hmong. We just call him girl gangs because they're they're young girls. They aren't as active as the as the young male gangs. They almost function as an auxiliary to the male gangs the incident the crime instance we've had with these groups are say it schools were fights between different different groups of girls the point about whether these groups of girls will encourage their male counterparts to stay in the gangs longer. We haven't seen it. But you know, it's certainly possible the the sole purpose for His gang seems to just be hanging out and party and that would be in keeping with that scenario. (00:19:57) The reason the reason that I asked I've been involved in doing a gang research project in Minnesota. And when we started the project about three years ago, I was you know, I was hearing from the boys and the girls will you get married and you leave but now within the last year and I was just up at thank Christ Girls Camp doing some girl groups around gangs and I was hearing from the kids that the girls there that know they're not leaving and they don't want the boys to leave. Well (00:20:30) Sergeant salted you have an idea of can you give us an idea of how many girls are involved in this activity? No, I really can't I mean whatever we try and Peg numbers were always wrong because the the different definition of who is a gang member who is an associate. We just try to focus on the the guys that are most active the games are the most active and the kids are Most active (00:20:53) I think it's important when we look at at gangs and we look at males and females that we recognize that we need to evaluate female involvement differently than male involvement. I mean, we're dual gender Society where there are men there are women where there are boys. There are (00:21:11) girls what I mean? Okay. Let me stop you. That's an interesting question. Why do we need to evaluate it differently. These are people there, you know both they're committing same types of crimes why differentiate? (00:21:24) Anytime we don't differentiate the gender differences we end up discounting women. I mean, I recognize that the women aren't involved in the same level of criminal activity that they're getting arrested for but in our study, I interviewed 30 women around the state of Minnesota that were involved in gangs. The largest number happened to be a child could be present and what they told me is so often they get away with things and they get to walk away because they aren't arrested for a variety of reasons. If we don't recognize that women's involvement in gangs is different then we don't recognize the levels of abuses and the pain that women are experiencing. There are a lot of women that what we called in our study group. He's (00:22:16) so you're saying they're more victims and they are gang (00:22:19) members. Well, no if their gang If they're involved with the gang if they're hanging out with the gang five to seven days a week, you know 12 to 24 hours in a way. That's the gang member now that doesn't that doesn't work for law enforcement. But if you do a sociological look at it, then it does work and the level of abuse that these girls experience and the level of perpetration to other girls that takes place is significant. So when we when we look at gang girls, we have to use a different model than when we look at male (00:22:59) gang. I'm going to let you go. Thank you very much for calling up one last comment. Is it is she right you need to differentiate. We just look at their activity at the criminal Behavior. We don't Define gang members by By the clothing they wear or even their tattoos. I mean it's an indicator and we note it. We also don't use gender completely as a classification, but what the bottom line is were concerned with is their activity and if they're engaged in criminal activity it we use the same methods and procedures for both. (00:23:37) Yeah, I think from the community side of that that the women would be treated on the front end in the sense of diversion activities differently and certainly if they do come in contact with the criminal justice system. I think that the how the system responds to these women as opposed to the men might be different and that might be where that's (00:23:59) differentiated and I guess that the overarching concern here is simply to understand gang Dynamics understand what's happening what their motivations are why people are getting involved So to that extent you probably do have to differentiate. It is 11:30. You're listening to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. Look at the news is on the way stay tuned (00:24:20) join us Thursday here on Minnesota Public Radio for another citizens Forum. Our program will originate from Farm Fest largest outdoor farm show in the Upper Midwest new Redwood Falls in Southwestern Minnesota. I'm Tom Rothman Farm director of the Minnesota farm Network and I'll be your host as we examine the issue of just how important is a strong rural economy to all of Minnesota. Join us for our live to our broadcast from Farm Fest beginning at 10 a.m. Here on can OU W 91.1 FM in the Twin (00:24:47) Cities. It's midday and Minnesota Public Radio continue our conversation about crime in Minnesota after we get news from Minnesota public radio's Greta Cunningham Greta. Thanks John. Good morning. An arbitrator has ruled the federal government should pay 16 million dollars for Abraham Zapruder film of the assassination of President. Kennedy Zapruder was taking home movies of the presidential motorcade in Dallas in 1963. When the president was killed the case went to arbitration was (00:25:14) approved his family asked for (00:25:15) 30 million dollars for the film and the government offered 1 million dollars. The film has been owned by the family but stored in the national archives in 1997 the assassination records review board declared it a permanent possession of the public (00:25:29) agriculture. Secretary. Dan Glickman is warning that many farmers will go (00:25:32) under unless Congress acts quickly to help them Glickman is testifying before the Senate agriculture committee as the full Senate debates new assistance for Farmers. Glickman says overall farm income is lower than it's been in years officials say at least two hundred twenty six deaths are blamed on the July heat wave in Alone, the heat killed more than five thousand cattle. The state official says he does not recall a time when so many cattle were killed by the heat (00:25:57) in Regional news. First round draft pick Demetrius. Underwood is still (00:26:00) missing at the Minnesota Vikings training camp under word worked out when the team Vikings open practice in Mankato yesterday morning, but disappeared by afternoon practice. (00:26:09) He wasn't at this morning's practice and the team doesn't know where he is officials with the st. Paul companies announced they're cutting about 1,000 (00:26:16) jobs as part of a plan to reduce expenses. Most of the cuts will be identified in the third quarter and will be completed by the end of this year chairman and chief executive Douglas. Leather Dale says the company will provide severance pay for affected employees and will help them find other jobs. The new layoffs are separate from actions associated with the company's pending sale of its personal insurance operations to MetLife auto and home the forecast for Minnesota today calls for partly cloudy skies Statewide. There's also a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the south (00:26:47) high temperatures today ranging from 70 in (00:26:49) With these 285 in the southwest at this hour Rochester reports partial sunshine and 72. It's cloudy in St. Cloud and (00:26:56) 68 mostly sunny in Duluth and 66 (00:27:00) and in the Twin Cities partly sunny skies a temperature of 74 degrees John. That's a look at the latest news. Thank you, Minnesota public radio's Greta Cunningham programming on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by Ecolab Global partner with leading Hospitality Healthcare and food processing customers improving cleaning and sanitation standards worldwide coming up just after noon the national Press Club and a speech from presidential candidate. Dan Quayle stay tuned for that but we've got about a half hour left to talk with Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson and Sergeant Mike Salter of the Minnesota gang Strikeforce talking about crime in Minnesota because this is the day for National Night Out when tens of millions of Americans go outside their homes for a few minutes or a few hours. It's the 16th annual National Night Out and in fact Minneapolis and I think st. Paul been involved all 16 years. Give us a call with your questions about crime in Minnesota, six, five. One two, two seven six thousand or 1-800 to for to 2828 Chief. I want to ask you about downtown and was that stabbing in the in the parking garage right across from the Y in downtown how safe generally is it in downtown? And and how much safer or less safe is it safe from 5 years ago 10 years ago. (00:28:23) Well, I like to of course. I've only been here for years. And I'd like to think it's a lot safer than it was four years ago. At least in my opinion. We have a wonderful downtown. We created a new command down there. We've got almost a hundred officers assigned out of that unit or that command downtown is the kind of play. I like to say that you know, if you want to go There and enjoy the amenities and the things that downtown has to offer you're not going to have any problems at all. The biggest issue is I said earlier really is some of the problems we've been having at parking ramps and whatnot a break into cars if you're down there and it's long after midnight in into one in the morning and you've had an awful lot to drink and that kind of thing. Well, maybe we can't totally guarantee your safety after that issue. But all in all we have a very very safe downtown for people that come down and enjoy (00:29:23) but it doesn't have the best reputation doesn't (00:29:25) know and we are constantly constantly fighting that perception and a tragedy as happened the other night really builds up that perception again, and we have to go right back at at you know, working and getting the word out to folks that yes, those things do occur. But all in all the downtown Minneapolis has a safe place to work and play (00:29:48) that given the the The work they're trying to do in build up the downtown how much pressure do you get from city council members for example or development officials to crack down on the crime that's happening to clean up certain areas. (00:30:00) Well, I don't know that it's it's pressure. We get the same kind of pressure from them that we get from all of our residents. They want a good place to work in play at and and we have responded to that. And in fact, we work with the downtown Council has really been great and working with us as well as all of the major corporations downtown their security forces. They're all well connected and whenever an issue comes up, I know seventh and Hennepin, we had a real drug-dealing problem but working with the city and the community and some of the property owners. We've really done a number on some of the drug-dealing that's going on there. So it's it's just a collaboration. I don't like to look at it as pressure. We're doing things that everybody knows needs to get done (00:30:40) six five one 2276 thousand or 1-800 to for to 2828 you'd like to get involved in this hour's conversation. About crime in Minnesota and Minnesota public radio's. Midday show. Let's go back to the phones Keith from North Minneapolis. Hello. Hi, you're on. Midday. (00:30:58) Hi, I'm Keith Reitman. I'm a small businessman called landlord on West Broadway around Broadway and pain and Broadway and Irving. I've been around West Broadway almost 20 years, but every year counts as two on West Broadway. So you might say I've been up there 40 years. Why do you say that? Well, there's a lot of crime and a lot of excitement and drama and West Broadway. What I wanted to mention quickly is that we have a business block club now at Broadway and Irving thanks to inspector Dolan at the fourth precinct and specifically Sergeant Ryan. We've organized our Merchants including the convenience store and some of the property landlords and different service outfits that we have left on West Broadway around Broadway and Irving. We've also brought in turning point, which is a drug rehab. And we brought in the YMCA up the street. So we've got pretty close to a critical mass and also some concern neighbors a critical mass to make a substantial Improvement and had a lot of assistance from the Minneapolis Police Department were very grateful. We've had like Patrol foot patrols Squad Patrol, they're taking people away that are breaking the law the street dealers loiterers and and miscellaneous criminals and solving some problems for us and with us, we're very happy about (00:32:25) that. So you're finding police doing a lot of the little things you want (00:32:28) done. Yeah. Yeah very much. So in the area that's about three or four blocks long. They can't be everywhere at all time. And there is a context for the crime in that context includes probably two things one of them. We're as landlords many of us are disappointed with safe. CCP safe is an outfit working out a Downtown Minneapolis. But soon to be decentralized into the precinct stations and under the command of the precinct commanders. I'm looking forward to that because so far with all the millions of dollars safe is seem like a shock troop for our city council to put landlords out of business. The reason I say that is that landlords have now become responsible under the nuisance law for the conduct of their tenants their tenants guests. And anybody who happens to wander on her near our property. What's the matter with that? Well, what happens is let me give you an example. Let's say somebody's dealing drugs in a gang way between a couple of my buildings. Yeah. I call the police. And that goes on a recap report for my property pretty soon. Let's say I'm I'm around quite a bit managing my property and I make 40 calls. Well, then I get a warning letter. You're getting too much Police Services here. You've got a problem. Well, you know it basically it rewards good behavior on my part if I call in well, I'm not just using your (00:34:00) example though Keith. If you've got if you have to make 40 calls to the police over whatever the span is, you know, a couple months or whatever, (00:34:08) right? You've got a problem on your property. Absolutely (00:34:11) and why shouldn't you have to address it as a landlord? Why should the why should the you know, they have the white paint. The cops is penalizing you (00:34:17) here. Okay. I'm not painting the cops as penalizing me. This is a nuisance law that the city council has adopted and the enforcement is the police informant who make the policy sure who am I but why shouldn't I there's a lot of people who say that (00:34:33) landlords are a big problem in the city and There, you know none unkempt properties. We're not saying yours are at all but you know, the problem properties are one of the big reasons that you know, there are problems (00:34:44) with crime. I'm glad you brought that up. First of all, I don't think there's any such thing as a problem property. We never had a property that sold a rock of crack or shot a person there a problem people. Okay, and people cause problems and people should be responsible for their actions and there should be consequences for people's misbehavior. That means bad landlords and bad tenants should be held (00:35:10) responsible Chief. What do you say about about the landlord (00:35:14) situation? Well, it's a it is an issue and he is correct that we are decentralizing out there in fours. And I think that the issues will be dealt with a lot closely. We don't necessarily look at the the recap things as a way to penalize the owner of the property. What we want to do is have the information so that we can then key the owner and many Land land owners are frankly our absentees. They really don't pay attention to their property and you have to get their attention but once you do and if they're willing to work closely with the precinct and the CCP safe team in rooting out the people that are in that property we can make some some really good things happen with that kind of a collaboration. We're not out to get the owner of the location, but we do certainly want that they do have a responsibility to work with us. (00:36:05) Let's go to River Falls caller on the line River Falls you there? Now hello River Falls (00:36:13) either interested in hey stop for a second. We lost the first part of your question or I lost it. Okay start all over again. I just said that I was interested in Robert Olsen's opinion on whether it's better on situations where there are vandalism issues with kids that are young and so on to file charges if the vandalism is pretty involved and would involve, you know, maybe a couple weeks worth of cleanup or whether it's better to drop the charges and hope that you won't be victimized again just interested in how we can nip this in the bud and get kids to understand that vandalism is you know is foolishness. Maybe it seems funny to them but it's really hot. What's the best way to teach them a lesson without getting them? So angry that they come back and victimized you again? Well, let those that's a really good question that you have and often times if you're a parent like I am you she should really don't want to put a hang anything on this kid or whatever, but I want to tell you if you look at at these particular these young gangsters, if you look at some of these kids that are doing burglaries and auto thefts and you look back into their life, you find that even back preteen they begin with truancy curfew issues and vandalism is one of the one of those areas where things start to happen. And even though your heart wants to let them go what you really want to do is to take a look at your juvenile justice system in your community. And is it punitive or is it something that will work to try and help the kid out and I believe me you can't help them if the thing goes unreported or doesn't get any farther parents often times do not have enough to do it themselves and they need the course of power of the juvenile. Justice system to make sure that that young person gets some intervention there that will help them preclude because the vandalisms become bigger vandalisms if they keep getting away with it and pretty soon. It's riding in stolen cars Etc (00:38:17) Chief one more question for you, unless your schedules changed and you don't have to (00:38:20) go. (00:38:22) So what are we going to see in the next couple of years as far as crime Trends in Minneapolis? What's going to go up? What's going to go down? (00:38:28) Well, I hate to be a another soothsayer. But if the first 19 months of what we've been doing here are any predictor, I would want to predict continued reductions that won't happen. However, unless we address some very critical issues one is one that's going to happen tonight that we have to keep our public aroused for crime prevention because 60% of all the crimes committed in our city are crimes of opportunity and that's where the citizen comes up their ability to provide. These crimes from happening by being aware and doing all the things that we hear about from the crime prevention activist. So we need to do that and then we need to wake up our internal system of dealing particularly with chronic offenders the full weight of the Criminal Justice System needs to fall on that percentage somewhere around 20% of the criminals who are committing the vast bulk of the crimes that are driving our neighborhoods nuts. We need to have a better system of dealing with those people with consequences that actually mean something and I think if we can do that over the coming years, we will see continued reductions certainly here in the City of (00:39:45) Minneapolis. Thanks very much for your time to (00:39:47) thank you very much for having me and I hope everybody gets out. I when I throw in a plug to our citizens that you know last year, we are the only city for the second time last year to receive the national award for the largest turnout for a In our population class. So let's let's go for number three Minneapolis (00:40:07) That's Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson at our Minneapolis Bureau 13 minutes before noon and chief. Olson had to go he had an appointment but we're still with Sergeant Mike Salter of the Minnesota gang Strike Force and the phone lines are open for your call, six five. One two, two seven six thousand or 1-800 to for to 2828. We're a little bit worried about Sergeant Salter about putting too much emphasis on gang activity in Minnesota by having you on by saying that you know, they are the biggest crime problem or it's a giant problem that every citizen has to be scared to go outside or something at the end. We decided that because of (00:40:46) the heightened Asian (00:40:47) gang activity just in the last month and st. Paul that was worth having you on but is there is there a big danger of overblowing the gang situation in Minnesota? I think there is I think in the past people involved especially law enforcement involved in gangs have Played sort of a numbers game because it took a while for people to realize that there was a significant problem. So they started saying they're X number of minnesotans involved in gangs. I think that as as our efforts have evolved we started to focus on targeting the specific guys, like two foals and talked about the the the 20% of criminals that are responsible for the vast majority of all crimes. We take the same approach in investigating gangs. I mean, I could give you a number in the hundreds of how many gang members Asian gang members are but the actual ones that are causing the problems you could probably number in the dozens. So I think that the focus should be not on this huge gang problem, but just, you know fine-tuning it and looking at the specific individuals in the specific. Things that are responsible for the majority of the problems what areas of the state have the worst gang problems, I would assume st. Paul Minneapolis. But st. Paul Minneapolis, the gang Strike Force consists of six different offices for offices that what offer through each quadrant of the state north west south west north east south east. Then we have an office in the Central Area centered around st. Cloud and then our Metro office the again I can only speak to Asian gangs because that's that's my area of expertise but there are Asian gang situations in virtually every quadrant and every office that we have. I'm wondering about this the solidarity gangs that we talked about. You said most of the Asian gangs. In fact are about hanging out there not about committing crime for profit. So they're essentially Social Clubs that do some criminal activity, right? Why do you call them a gang? They're not doing they're not selling drugs. They're not, you know doing car theft rings. They're not doing the traditional gang criminal activities. Well, they are the criteria that we use for gangs defining gangs is actually State Statute that defines gangs and it's a gang is a group of three or more who are engaged in criminal activity in the list of criminal activity that is applicable or are basically all the violent crime statute violent crime offenses, and they have some sort of symbol or commonality something that that defines them as a gang. Typically it's the clothing some clothing they wear some Especially Asian gangs a lot of them tattoo the name of their gang and their arms they hand signs are a big thing. So and they self-identify. Yes as gang members. So because I'm wondering about race here, you know, are you being too quick to say well, it's a bunch of Hmong who hang out and do these things. So that's a gang but a bunch of white kids wouldn't be labeled again, you're saying it's not true like that. No, no not at all. And again, even if we have even if we see the identifiers and will certainly take down the information for intelligence if we see a group and they do identify themselves as gang members, but you know, we're really focused and I can't stress this enough on the guys that are involved in the criminal activity right now and the way we do take down information for intelligence reasons because again that is relatively inactive now could become very active within the next few months, but we always try Focus on the criminal activity that is that is currently occurring. We've got a caller who szish on the line from (00:45:07) Fridley. Good morning. I had a question if you know and you believe certain number of the kids gang member or trying to kill your kid and they have shown up in your neighborhood with gone and you report that and the police officers say that he's not dead when he's dead call us. I want to know if the officer has got some idea how I can (00:45:30) handle this. I'm sorry the comment that the officer made to you when he responded was that call back when your son is dead or something that effect. I think that's an issue that you should take up with the police department that that you called that you know clearly is an inappropriate response to the situation and as with dealing with any organization, I would you know call the Department and ask talk to a supervisor and and it's a gang that's going after your son. Yes. And they've identified themselves as a (00:46:07) gang of we have two audio tape of it. The people in the other students had how do you take on themselves and they ask them is are you really going to kill him? Yes when before the end of this group. So we remove that kid. Basically he's up in jail in our home. You can't go outside and play and we know other people who came to us and say the following keys with gone now could have been a BB gun could have been a real one looking for your kid. (00:46:35) It sounds like a very serious situation and you know, it's clear that you didn't receive appropriate service for me police department. I would I would suggest is is pursuing it going back to your police department and talking to supervisor. It sounds like a situation where a department investigator should be involved tracking it down. Whose dish. Thank you very much for calling from Fridley me ask you the same question. I asked Chief Olson what and we have just about a minute left in the show. What trends do you expect to see in gang activity Asian gang activity? Well, we've known that there have been a lot of guns out in the Asian gang community and I was just a matter of time before they started to use it use them. What we're trying to do now is to sort of Develop ways that we can deescalate the crisis and at least get them to ratchet down the level of violence and has two Trends. I really I really can't guess it would just be a guess but you know the level of violence with the Asian gangs is definitely increasing and we're trying to develop ways to deal with it. Thank you very much for coming in. Thank you Sergeant Mike Salter of the Minnesota gang Strike Force on assignment from the Ramsey County Sheriff's department and earlier. We were joined by Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson at our Minneapolis Bureau. Thanks for all the callers in this hour. This is National Night Out the 16th. Annual National Night Out is were talking about crime and Minnesota in this hour of midday.


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