COMMUNITY SAFETY MEETINGS
A sense of “community safety” is a key component for any neighborhood to thrive and grow. Its absence, or even the perception that it is lacking, negatively impacts our basic livability. This topic affects both our residents and local businesses alike. As a small urban neighborhood, Elliot Park faces challenges in confronting this issue and EPNI is working collaboratively with our community members to address neighborhood safety.
In recognition of the spike in crime not only here but across the city this summer, EPNI has relaunched our community safety committee. This committee is designed to collect information and forward recommendations to the EPNI board of directors for their consideration. Our first meeting was held December 7 and was designed strictly as a listening forum to generate input from attendees to raise their safety related issues along with any suggested solutions. Issues raised included incidents of property theft, vandalism, break-ins, robberies, personal assaults (verbal/physical), drug use and dealing, encampment related concerns, gunfire, speeding, graffiti, littering, and abandoned vehicles.
Offered solutions from participants included pursuing a local “neighborhood watch” or “eyes on the street” program, better lighting (and reporting streetlights that are not working), narrowing certain streets, reporting abandoned vehicles, obtaining free graffiti removal solution from local fire stations, and possibly creating our own crime data base to compare with 911 and 311 reports that have not always reflected all calls submitted to them.
It is important to realize that as a neighborhood association, EPNI has limited resources to directly apply to any solution(s) by itself. Therefore, it is essential that residents’ along with your fellow neighbors’ get involved and partner with us to collectively achieve anything! EPNI acts as your voice with our elected officials and city agencies, and we will continue advocating for needed attention pertaining to law enforcement, social services, and housing as they all intertwine with community safety overall. However, your ongoing participation with us will make our voice even more effective!
We highly encourage your individual involvement based on your comfort level with activity. If you see something, say something! Meanwhile, start talking with your neighbors and get to know them if you don’t already. Give some thought and discuss how a block watch could function with you and your neighbor’s involvement. Take the initiative and obtain free graffiti removal solution from our fire stations for your building, home or neighboring business. The solution is challenging in winter, but can be applied to graffiti while temps are above freezing (32º Fahrenheit).
As a reminder, some personal safety tips are listed below, these suggestions are to minimize the chances of you becoming victimized. Some of these include locking your doors and windows, be aware of your surroundings while walking or driving, keep your valuables out of sight, minimize cell phone use while walking, and keep your sidewalks and walkways clear of snow and ice!
Join us at the next Community Safety Committee meeting! Check the EPNI calendar for meeting details: https://www.elliotpark.org/calendar
Meanwhile, EPNI has also created a designated email address to contact us about community safety issues intended to further our dialogue with you. When contacting us at [email protected], please provide your name, location of issue, and any pertinent details or suggestions you wish to relay, and always in a respectful manner.
Across the Twin Cities, there has been a rise in Car Jackings, Auto Theft and Theft from Motor Vehicle, including license plates and catalytic converter theft.
The Minneapolis Police Department urges you to remain vigilant to any suspicious activity around your car. Suspicious activity may include people walking or driving up and down the street, alley or through garages/parking ramps and surface lots. Behavior may also include looking closely at vehicles or crawling underneath them. Please call 911 to immediately report locations and the descriptions of suspicious Individuals and/or their vehicles.
• Converters can be sawed off vehicles in a matter of minutes. Vehicles with a higher ground clearance, such as AWD trucks, SUVs and mini vans are especially vulnerable.
• Whenever possible, park you vehicle in a locked garage.
• Park your vehicle in well-lit areas. Add additional security lighting where needed.
• Install video cameras where you park.
• Etch or engrave your License Plate number and/or VIN onto your Converter.
• Spray paint your converter with brightly colored, heat resistant paint, this could help in making it easily identifiable at a scrap yard.
• Set your car alarm to be more sensitive to detect tampering.
• Install an aftermarket anti-theft device, versions are available through Auto Parts stores and online. These are designed to make it more difficult for a thief to remove the converter.
• Talk to your mechanic or vehicle dealership for anti-theft devices specific to your vehicle make and model.
• If you are a business that operates a fleet of vehicles, consider securing them in a yard with high, locked fencing. Again, higher ground vehicles are more vulnerable to Catalytic Converter theft.
Auto Theft and License Plates
• Auto Theft Prevention has been a citywide focus. Never leave your car running and unattended. A cold car is better than no car.
• DO NOT leave your keys in your vehicle even if you are in an accessed controlled parking facility or your own garage.
• Because about 70% of vehicles are still being stolen with keys or FOBs in the vehicle, thieves are also stealing license plates to put on stolen cars.
• Check the front and back of your car frequently to make sure your plates have not been tampered with.
• Thieves will also swap plates.
• They look for vehicles that match the same make and model of the vehicle that was just stolen.
• Make sure the plates on your vehicle are indeed yours, you could be pulled over by law enforcement in a felony stop because a swapped plate matches that of a stolen vehicle.
• Secure your plate with tamper resistant security screws. This will make it more difficult to remove your plate.
In response to the recent uptick in criminal behavior in the 1st Precinct, please take note of these safety reminders the City of Minneapolis has recommended.
Please, also share this information with friends and neighbors. Together we can protect each other & look out for one another!
• Be aware of your surroundings.
• Always. Look at and take note of who is near you or your vehicle
• When driving, keep your doors and windows locked
• Take note of vehicle descriptions, license plate numbers or suspect descriptions
• Do not leave your vehicle running and DO NOT leave keys or a fob inside the car
• Maintain good social distance from strangers
• Do not walk and text
• Be wary of someone asking for the time, change, directions, to use your phone
• Carry only what you need in a secure pocket.
• Avoid carrying a purse. If you do, utilize a smaller bag & carry it under your coat
• Consider a self-defense class to increase confidence when out in public
• Use a buddy system when walking, if possible
• Walk in well lit, well-traveled areas
• Do not carry your cell phone in your hand. Keep it safely in an inside pocket, not it in your back pocket
Phones and Financial Security
• Always have your IMEI and serial number for your phone in a safe place
• Keep an electronics inventory list with serial numbers and product descriptions
• Consider a “track my phone” app
• Use a pass code to lock your phone when not in use
• Hide all apps for banking, credit cards and cash apps in an “incognito” file
• Record all your credit card, driver’s license, banking, and pass code information
• Know how to access accounts and institutions incase of loss or fraud
• NEVER leave keys or a fob in your car EVER
• Look around before entering or exiting your vehicle
• Check your owner’s manual for a valet key and remove it
• Don’t leave a spare key hidden or in another vehicle
• LOCK YOUR DOORS, even when parked in an access-controlled garage
• Do not leave personal property in plain sight
• Keep doors locked when driving
• Call 911 if intimidated on the road, stay on the phone with 911, do not engage
Residences and Garages
• Keep ALL doors and windows locked – even inside multi-unit dwelling
• Use your deadbolt
• Do not prop open any exterior doors
• Be mindful of common use outside doors (front doors, overhead garage door)
• DO NOT allow someone to follow you into the building
• If you live on the ground floor be vigilant about your access points
• Utilize available lighting or consider adding more
• Do not leave valuables unsecured. Record serial numbers of bicycles
• If you keep your bicycle in the garage, lock it to a rack bolted to the floor or wall
• Do not leave your garage door opener in your vehicle
• Lock your vehicle when parked inside the garage and do not leave valuables
• Maintain good key and access card/fob control
• Consider forming a building or block club to share information
• Whether single family or multi-unit, ensure your security cameras are operational and are good quality. Cameras rarely prevent a crime, they are excellent in aiding an investigation and subsequent arrest
Call 911 to report assaults, robberies or car jackings. IF YOU BECOME A VICTIM OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR - FILE A POLICE REPORT. Call 311 or go to Minneapolis.Gov to file a theft report