Mayor Rybak reflects on drop in violent crime in Minneapolisby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Year-end crime figures show that violent crime fell by double digits in Minneapolis in 2007.
Officials say the turnaround is the result of a stepped up strategy targeting high-crime areas, chronic offenders and juveniles. The city put 50 new officers on the street and increased community policing efforts.
The drop is a major change over last year, when violent crime reached its highest level since 1997.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says he's not declaring victory yet, but he's satisfied that his public safety strategy is working. He says the city could do more to fight crime with more funding from the state.
"I'm sorry to say the city seems to be in it alone with the governor not helping on that, but we'll continue to fight that," says Rybak. "And I'll go back to the Legislature and again make that case that local government aid means more police on the streets of Minneapolis and cities around the state."
The mayor says the high rate of foreclosures contributed to an increase in burglaries. There were almost 6,000 burglaries in the city in 2007, the most since 1998.
Rybak says quickly boarding up the growing number of foreclosed homes in the city helps prevent properties from attracting criminal activity.