Crime Prevention Taken Seriously in Minneapolis

Although most major statistics show that the crime rate has been steadily falling across the nation since the 1990’s, it can still be a huge problem to contend with in some of the bigger cities across the nation. Like anything, more people tends to breed more problems. While law enforcement agencies and government officials are working diligently to fight crime in their areas, it is a never- ending battle but one that must be waged every day or else anarchy and social unrest ensue.

Minneapolis, located in Minnesota, has a population a little under 400,000. Even so, the emergency services receive more than one thousand distress calls every day. And the police, the fire and EMT departments of the emergency services try to process most of them.

However, it is not possible to immediately respond to all calls due to budget constraints and the sheer reality of the situation. They give first priority to the calls involving life threatening problems. Then they prioritize the less severe calls for assistance and process them in the most logical manner to provide the best possible service.

It takes about an hour to assess the nature of the call and dispatch a cop during the busiest of times. Each incoming call is assessed and put into low priority only if (i) there is no immediate threat to life, (ii) the caller has no injuries, (iii) the caller is not a victim of ongoing criminal action, and (iv) the offender is not an immediate threat and is not expected to return.

This prioritization of incoming calls is part of the new initiative by Minneapolis to more effectively handle crime. Rather than spread their force thin responding to low priority calls, the police ration resources so that they are always capable of handling ongoing crimes effectively. It is all part of the new CODEFOR plan.

CODEFOR stands for Computer Optimized Deployment—Focus on Results. All sections of the police force are involved in this new crime reduction initiative and it involves four basic ideas 1. accurate and timely intelligence on crime that is occurring 2. rapid deployment of personnel and resources in appropriate circumstances 3. effective tactics and 4. relentless follow-up and assessment.

In another Minneapolis initiative, a voluntary program called “Watch Your Car”, the participating citizens give a declaration to the police that their car is normally not used between 1 am and 5 am and therefore give the police permission to pull their car over if and when seen on the roads during this period.

Participants are given reflective stickers that can be seen by police late at night and if they spot any vehicles with the stickers during the 1-5 a.m. window, they have the right to pull it over despite the fact that no crime has yet been witnessed. It is a radical program but it is having great results and citizens seem pleased with the plan so far.

Although no crime fighting initiative will ever be 100% effective, the Minneapolis police department is certainly trying its best to make the community as safe as possible for its citizens. People considering relocating to Minneapolis will be glad to know that the community is committed to fighting crime and making the city a safe place to live and work.


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