Longfellow neighbors meet to learn and plan crime prevention

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On May 30th of this year, about 30 Longfellow neighbors met at Bethany Covenant Church to receive information from the 3rd precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department, delivered by Shun Tillman, the crime prevention specialist for Sector 4 which encompasses our community. There was active question and answer with Officer Tillman.

He came with a series of notes to make important points like calling 911 for all circumstances that don’t look or feel right, to make sure that property is not an invitation to burglary, plus many more.

Some points I came away with follow:

  1. Cooper still one of city’s quiet neighborhoods
  2. Residents can have home security checkup
  3. Call 911 for anything not feeling right
  4. Privacy fence should also have good lighting, good door, good lock and strike plate.
  5. Don’t invite anyone in to use your bathroom or phone
  6. Report solicitors lacking required evidence of registration
  7. If you call 911 and no car arrives, call again.
  8. If 911 call has problem, call 911, ask for supervisor.
  9. On neighborhood walks, use eyes to learn what’s normal
  10. In home invasion, seek safety either inside or outside house
  11. Inventory most valuable items. Need to prove ownership
  12. If you come home and see evidence of breakin do NOT go in!
  13. If suspicious visitor comes to door, contact neigbhors
  14. During long absence, take measures to make house look occupied.
  15. Best solution for absence is a trusted neighbor or family member
  16. Do not leave expensive electronics near windows
  17. Pin windows so they can’t be opened completely
  18. If you have security system, learn it and use it
  19. Don’t mess up crime scene
  20. Form or join block club
  21. Don’t assume you know what a burglar looks like. Wide variety.
  22. 3rd Precinct has 5 property crime investigators, Lt. Barnes the supervisor
  23. Write impact statements to help court determine sentence
  24. Get familiar with police website: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/statistics/index.htm
  25. Burglaries happen 24 hours a day. Vigilance must be equally consistent.

Officer Tillman explained the priority system used by emergency communications. Crime in progress is Priority 1. Suspicious activity is Priority 2. And a call where the crime is over and suspects gone is Priority 3. The system determines the time lapse for a patrol car to come. With Priority 1, a car should immediately be on the way. But it might be hours with Priority 3, depending on time of day and activity in the whole precinct. A shooting might pull as many as 8 cars to the scene, leaving fewer to answer the Priority 2 and 3 calls.

To reinforce the point made by Officer Tillman, we do not live in a crime ridden community. Still, any crime is too much crime. There is no justification for a category called “acceptable crime”. All crime reduces our security, the safety of our kids, and the value of our property. We should dedicate ourselves to an acceptable level of activity and vigilance to help achieve peace in our streets and on our property.