As a result, violent crime skyrocketed in the city’s communities.
To tackle the issue, the Lowry Hill neighborhood created a nonprofit called the Minneapolis Safety Initiative.
Through this initiative, the neighborhood’s residents secured a contract with the city for $210,000 in extra police patrols at $107 per hour per cop, according to MinnPost.
Minneapolis Safety Initiative published a statement to explain its effort:
One piece of the solution: the buyback program. Entities can pay the City of Minneapolis to deploy MPD officers for shifts that the officers would otherwise not be working. This program is called “buyback.”
Over the years, various Minneapolis neighborhoods have used buyback to deploy additional MPD officers. Officers working a buyback shift patrol in MPD vehicles, respond to 911 calls, and deter criminals—just as they do in a normal shift.
Buyback for Lowry Hill: As a temporary measure to address the current crime wave while MPD continues to rebuild to full staffing levels, volunteers in the Lowry Hill neighborhood have created an entity to enter into a buyback contract to deploy additional MPD officers throughout the entire Lowry Hill neighborhood.
Neighborhood map at this link. Lowry Hill has a wide range of renter-occupied and owner-occupied housing, and every year hosts tens of thousands of visitors to neighborhood attractions such as the Sculpture Garden, the Walker Art Museum, the soccer, football, baseball, & hockey facilities at the Parade sports complex, multiple parks, and many churches, schools, and mom-and-pop businesses.
Our goal is to increase safety for all residents and visitors. MPD will use its professional judgment to deploy officers at times and places to have maximum impact. Actual shifts will depend on funds raised and officer availability. We will provide updates on shifts purchased and safety outcomes.
Residents of any other Minneapolis neighborhood who wish to learn more about the MPD buyback program should feel free to contact [email protected] to learn more.
Contributions: All people working on this initiative are volunteers. There are fees for payment processing but otherwise, all contributions will go directly to paying for MPD buyback officer patrols.
Contributions are not tax-deductible. The entity with the buyback arrangement—the Minneapolis Safety Initiative (MSI)—is a non-profit entity under Minnesota law, is registered with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as a charity, and operates in accordance with section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax law, but contributions to 501(c)(4) entities are not tax deductible.
You can designate your contribution to be one time or recurring monthly. You can turn off your recurring contribution at any time by emailing [email protected]
Suggested contribution: To have the desired impact, we suggest a recurring contribution of $220/month for at least 6 months. (One hour of buyback costs approximately $110.) If $220/month for at least 6 months is not in your budget, we respect that fact and ask you to make a contribution at a level that is meaningful to you.
In turn, if you are in a position to contribute more than the suggested $220/month, we welcome that additional contribution. It will go right to additional buyback shifts.
Other safety measures: As neighbors, we encourage you to take the following actions to increase safety:
Whistle. Buy a whistle, bring it with you when you go outside, and if you encounter trouble, blow on it repeatedly. For the rest of us, if we hear a repeated whistle, call 911 and consider going to the source to assist. Whistles on Amazon at this link.
When outside, stay off your phone. Criminals are looking for distracted victims, so stay aware of your surroundings, don’t use earbuds or headphones, and stay off your phone.
If you see something, say something. If you see suspicious behavior, call 911 and report it.
Exterior lighting. Ensure that your exterior spaces are illuminated – porch, yard, driveway, and sidewalk. If a streetlight is out, report it to 311 right away to be repaired. Don’t assume your neighbors have already done so.
Establish a text string with your neighbors. Go door to door, collect cell phone numbers, and start a text string to share information on an ongoing basis.
Addressing root causes: There’s important work to do to address the root causes of crime in our city. As just one way to help address root causes, we encourage you to learn more about initiatives such as the Northside Achievement Zone and its anchor partners and consider supporting them.
Simultaneously, the neighbors leading this initiative are working on various fronts to push for increased deployment of law enforcement officers in all city neighborhood.