Volunteer Opportunity – NE Courtwatch

Below is some information from Crime Prevention Specialist, Tom Thompson regarding a new program for the Eastside of Minneapolis. They’d like at least one representative from each neighborhood – so get involved and represent St. Anthony East!

“Hello,

We have been working on setting up a Courtwatch program in NE Minneapolis in the 2nd Precinct.  After our first meeting, it was decided that this program would be for all of Eastside Minneapolis.  Both NE and SE Minneapolis, all of the 2nd Precinct.

If you are interested in getting involved in this program, send an e-mail so we can put your e-mail address into our Courtwatch system.  Also attend the meetings, which are going to be held in conjunction with 2-PAC for a few months.  The meetings will be the 2nd Monday of each month, at 6 pm, at 1900 Central Ave (Monroe Village).

If you live North of Broadway St NE, then e-mail thomas.thompson@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

If you live south of Broadway St NE, then e-mail nicholas.juarez@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Thank you.

Tom

Here is the original e-mail for those who are wondering what Courtwatch is all about;

Hello,

We talk a lot about crime and statistics.  Have you ever wondered what happens to the people who are arrested in your area?  Have you ever wondered what happens when someone accused of a crime goes to court?  Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get punished more than others?  Those are just a couple questions we could help you answer.

I am looking to see if there are enough volunteers willing to make a NorthEast Courtwatch program viable.  I would like to see at least one volunteer from each neighborhood.  Courtwatch members can be anyone who lives here or works here.  The neighborhood volunteers would decide which arrests, in their neighborhood, would be monitored by Courtwatch.

What is the commitment?  One meeting a month and then during the month possibly sending out e-mails or talking to neighbors to get Community Impact Statements for cases being monitored by the Courtwatch program.

What would the program look like?  That’s up to you.  Here is what we did in the 5th Precinct;
–  As a group we decide which crimes we want to monitor.  (ie; burglary, robbery, graffiti, auto theft, whatever you would like to track).
–  Then I set up a list so I get notified each time there is an arrest in the precinct for those crimes we are following
–  Each day I look to see if there was an arrest the night before,  (only adult arrests, no juvenile arrests, as they are not public info)
–  If there was, I send each Courtwatch volunteer a copy of the arrestees history of arrests (in Minneapolis only) since 2005.
–  I also send out a copy of the Minneapolis Police Report to each volunteer (public information only).
–  We then set a limit of say 20 arrests (just for sake of a number here).  If the person has had 20 arrests in Minneapolis since 2005 they are automatically put on the Courtwatch list.  If they haven’t had the set number of arrests, then the neighborhood volunteer determines if that person should be on the list based on the crimes impact to their neighborhood.
–  The City and CountyAttorney’s Office is also hopefully involved.  They monitor whether the arrested people are charged.  They then report to the volunteers at the meeting of the status of court cases.
–  The City and CountyAttorney’s request community impact statements.  The volunteers then go out to the neighborhoods (through e-mail or talking) to get people to write impact statements.
–  We continue to track people through the court system, through sentencing.

Do you want to have an impact on crime?  Do you want to have an impact on the court system?  If you think this is a way to accomplish that, let me know.  Remember, Courtwatch is a community driven program.  It can only happen with community volunteers.  Let me know if you want to volunteer.  If we can find enough volunteers I will work to get the process set up for us.

For questions, contact:

Tom Thompson, Crime Prevention Specialist
Minneapolis Police Department, 2nd Precinct
(612) 673-2874
thomas.thompson@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

To Protect With Courage
To Serve With Compassion”

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