Monday, May 01, 2006

Whose Minneapolis is it?

Shot in the Mitch is joining the chorus of Righty Tighties blaming all that is bad in Minneapolis on the current Hennepin County Attorney. In his comments, I thought I would redirect his thoughts using those pesky facts that always seem to get in the way of Mitch and the boys making stuff up.

I know, this is broken record stuff for those that pay attention, but I will be reciting them every time the Right tries to sneak in their latest fallacies.

To the tape:
Is it the fault of the Minneapolis Police Department? No - despite a quarter-century of lousy choices for chief of the beleaguered department, the cops in Minneapolis do their best.

No. The problem comes from upstream.

RT Rybak and the city council, and their predecessors in the office, bear their share of the blame.

It's the city and county law-enforcement leadership whose job it is to make the streets safer.
So I am a tad confused. The Chief stated:
(T)he rise in crime was and remains a direct correlation to staffing reductions. The [Minneapolis Police Department], as with many departments around the country, was decimated by budget cuts ... and it will take some time to recover.
Cuts tied directly to a the GOP pillaging of the budget to provide for their tax cuts:
In Minneapolis, $6 million in COPS grants allowed the police department to hire 81 cops and boost the city's number of officers to 938 by 1997. But officials have had to cut 140 positions since then, including 38 this year. Officers are being shifted from neighborhoods to handle emergency calls; robberies are up by 20% this year, and burglaries are up 3%.
So wouldn't that make it Pres. George Bush's Minneapolis. Or when the Stage GOP along with Governor TPaw strips LGA from the formula and the Urban environments can't even replace the lost federal funds with local resources. Can we then say it is Gov TPaws Minneapolis.

Mitch 'n Co. are being disingenuous to try to pin the increases in MPLS crime on a county attorney who, through the most recent available data, has REDUCED Hennepin County serious crime by 36% from '97 to 2004

Minneapolis Crime rates are also down 30% from 1997 to 2005

So you guys keep pushing this little meme, and when the campaign gets into full steam, and the true facts are presented. We'll let the electorate decide who's Minneapolis it is. They'll start finding out things like this:
Before the latest budget cuts in Minneapolis, Police Officer Catherine Casey and her civilian partner in the community policing program, Karen Abrahamson, were scrambling to cover the needs of three neighborhoods in south Minneapolis.

They attended community meetings and spent months recruiting block leaders who could alert police to problems such as neglectful landlords and illegal drug sales.

Now Casey and Abrahamson are responsible for seven neighborhoods. They're too busy to recruit block leaders. They two rarely attend community meetings. Personal contact with residents has been replaced by apologetic e-mails from the pair.
We can hang around the watercooler and point fingers, or we can roll up our sleeves and work together to change this course that faces us. That's what I want to do, regardless of whose fault it may be! Because regardless of where you live, or who's in charge, it is really OUR Minneapolis!


UPDATE: The folks at DFLSenate sang a similar refrain a few weeks ago.

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