Police: Mpls. gun crackdown shows signs of successby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Local and federal law enforcement officials say an effort to crackdown on gun violence in Minneapolis is showing signs of success.
The program, called Project Exile, began in Minneapolis this summer. Since then the Minneapolis Police Department has reported a downward trend in the number of violent gun crimes in the city.
Police Chief Tim Dolan says it's difficult to draw a direct correlation between the program and the dip in crime, but he said several of the people who've been locked up as a result of the program are repeat offenders.
"We look at a problematic population -- we talked about this before -- that's very, very active in shootings and violence. It's not a large population," he said. "And by taking off a number of them -- putting fear into others that would be like them -- that's going to reduce the number of the violent crimes that we have."
Under Project Exile, a team of prosecutors from Hennepin County and the U.S. Attorney's offices work together to get tougher sentences for gun offenders. Since the project began eight people have been indicted on federal gun charges.
U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones says often that means getting offenders out of state court and into the federal system, where penalties for gun crimes are tougher.
"We've had eight folks come over to federal court. Six of those have been what have been classified as armed career criminals," he said. "Which means, should they be convicted in federal court, they're looking at 15-year minimum mandatories."