MINNEAPOLIS — WCCO is giving you an inside look at the teamwork it takes to tackle crime in Minneapolis. Recently, WCCO’s Reg Chapman rode along with police for a first-hand look at Operation Safe Summer, the only reporter allowed to do so.
The Operation Safe Summer Greater Minneapolis Violent Crime Initiative began back on May 1. But for the past five days, the Minneapolis Police Department and its federal, state and local partners worked together to get some of the known shooters, drug dealers and car jackers off the street.
Police say they could not have completed this detail successfully without the help of their partners. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s office, ATF, DEA, FBI, BCA and Department of Homeland Security were all focused on bringing safety to a city under seize by gun violence.
Working together, law enforcement was able to make 97 arrests, including three people wanted for murder.
There were 38 illegal guns taken; four had illegal switches, which convert semi-automatic guns to fire automatic. A sizeable amount of pills was also recovered, as well as 17 stolen cars, several of which had been carjacked.
From 17th and Oliver Avenue North to 26th and Bloomington Avenue South, hot spots where crime happens were targets for this detail. Sgt. Andrew Schroeder let officers and deputies from multiple departments know what they are up against.
“A two-year almost 90% increase in ShotSpotter activations, a 456% increase from 2021 … that’s a lot of gunshots,” Schroeder said.
Most of those gunshots sound like automatic gunfire.
What the MPD says they are most proud of is that there was no serious use of force and no one got hurt during the detail.
Police know there is lots more work to be done to provide a safe environment for all residents. Interim Chief Amelia Huffman hopes more people in the community step up and partner with police to help stop the violence.
“I keep the photo of those three guns on the board precisely as a reminder of how important that relationship with community is. Those three guns were taken off the streets precisely because a community member saw activity they were concerned about and they were worried about the possibility of violence on their block, and they called 911,” Huffman said.
Last year, after losing a third of its staff, MPD took over a thousand guns off the street. The hope is that they can get even more guns with the help of the community.