Minneapolis officials announce new public safety plan, details to come

Jacob Frey speaks
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announces the launch of "Operation Endeavor," which city officials say aims to reduce crime in the region.
Jon Collins | MPR News

Minneapolis officials announced Thursday they’re launching a new effort to reduce crime in the region, which they’re calling “Operation Endeavor.”

The effort will include law enforcement partners from around the region including the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the state Department of Public Safety and federal agencies, according to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. He said the plan, which will be led by the new city Office of Community Safety, involves building a more comprehensive approach to safety than past efforts. 

“This plan is to bolster services that we have been receiving to better coordinate services in a way that we have not done before, and to provide that comprehensive approach by working with a number of jurisdictions throughout the city,” Frey said. 

Office of Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander said the law enforcement approach will include tactics like foot patrols, bike patrols, investigators and plain clothes operations. 

Alexander called on the public to get behind the initiative to ensure it is successful in “making this community safe.” 

“This is not a flash in the pan,” Alexander said. “This is going to be ongoing.”  

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Officials said they’ll use data to decide where to assign law enforcement and public safety resources. Efforts will initially be centered in downtown Minneapolis, due to a high level of gun violence there. 

“The effects of what we’re going to do here is going to have citywide impact to every citizen and every neighborhood in this city,” Alexander said. “I want to be clear, it’s not just focused on downtown — this plan allows us to be flexible and to use our resources where they’re most needed — and on any given day or time, we are here to support the entire city.” 

A prosecutor will also be embedded directly in the task force, Frey said. The effort will also include collaborations with the private sector, although there aren’t yet details about how that might work. The operation will also include public health strategies to reducing violence through the city Office of Violence Prevention. 

The operation’s announcement comes as crime in Minneapolis has become a major issue in the state’s gubernatorial race, with Republicans alleging that Democrats have failed to tamp down crime rates. 

City statistics show that the number of homicides, shooting victims and sex offenses are slightly down over last year’s numbers. Car thefts, domestic assaults and carjackings are up this year. 

Alexander said logistics for the operation are still being worked out, but that city officials plan to provide regular updates on how it’s working.