Below is a letter from Inspector Sullivan of the Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct:
From the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct
November 5, 2018
We understand that homelessness, addiction, and mental health are profound societal issues and challenges that cannot and will not be solved by law enforcement. Being homeless is not a crime.
With that said, it is important that police officers from the 3rd Precinct respond and patrol the encampment on a regular basis providing public safety and police service. Over the past three weeks, Minneapolis Officers have responded to 53 police related calls for various incidents such as; people fighting, suspicious vehicles, disturbances, sounds of shots, and medical emergencies to include overdose calls. In that same time frame, police officers have provided 73 extra policing efforts through either foot beats or squad patrols.
More recently, just this past week officers responded to over 8 overdose calls. Sadly, one those calls was fatal.
Also, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo authorized an additional funding string to provide extra patrol to the Encampment and the Franklin Avenue Cultural Corridor. So far there have been 51 personnel-hours where police officers have been assigned 5-hour shifts specifically to the Encampment and/or the Cultural Corridor. There has been a total of 278 hours dedicated through this enhanced public safety initiative since it began in late August.
Officers from MPD’s Community Engagement Team and Procedural Justice Unit have also contributed to the public safety efforts in the Encampment. They have spent numerous hours around the encampment interacting with the community members there.
It goes without saying that Sergeant Grant Snyder of the MPD Homelessness and Vulnerable Populations Initiative, has been a constant presence at the encampment. He has worked very closely with the tent community along with social service agencies that are advocating for those at the encampment by providing much needed services. The primary emphasis of Sgt Snyder’s work has been to provide relevant and timely service to those residing in the encampment, by direct and frequent contact, advocacy, and engagement. Examples of this engagement include:
Open discussion and interaction about safety related concerns and options for resolution
Providing advocacy and liaison on behalf of the encampment residents
Assistance in relocation or movement of property, when requested, to include arranging short term storage
Assisting individuals with warrants by either rescheduling court dates, or providing assistance in navigating the process
Providing food and durable goods
Mediating conflict which negatively affects quality of life and safety
Increasing collaboration between all interested parties to include residents, outreach workers, social services and the community.
Inspector Mike Sullivan, the Commander of the 3rd Precinct, and his leadership team meet frequently and collaborate with MUID leaders, Non-profits, faith based groups, community partners, and other city and governmental entities to brief about the encampment. The Minneapolis Police Department is committed to the safety and security of those experiencing homelessness in our community and we will continue to work closely with MIUD leaders and the community in addressing issues related to public safety for everyone at the Encampment.