Looking at the latest available crime statistics for Minneapolis the other day, I saw something interesting. So far, there have been no homicides in the area of the city people know as north Minneapolis – the neighborhoods north and west of downtown. This area is also known as the Fourth police precinct.
One killing was committed on Linden Ave located just north of downtown. So technically, that is a northside homicide.
But in the Fourth Precinct, there have not only been no killings, but also a 30 percent drop in the number of aggravated assaults from this time last year. Aggravated assaults include shootings and stabbings.
There are have been seven homicides in the city so far this year – fewer than half as many at this time last year. Most have been committed in the Third Precinct, an area south of downtown. Last year at this time, there were eight homicides on the northside.
But don’t expect Minneapolis police to crow about the statistic. Back in 2009, when the city saw an extremely low number of homicides, 19, a member of the command staff told me a fair amount of luck helped produce the number. He also told me that he didn’t want to “jinx it” by saying too much. Sure enough, 2010 got off to a bloody start.