Preparation for a ‘safe’ summer

ThroughMyEyesnew3Black ‘leaders’ work on a plan to reduce crime, but will the community be left out again?

“Leadership’s” annual empty rite for summer begins: “planning” for community summer safety, with the opposite of “community” in play, claiming the solution demands more money for planning and planners, leaving little for community people and streets, betraying Martin Luther King, Jr.’s concept of involved community.

Why is leadership concerned now when earlier they would sit down with Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Chief Janeé Harteau to discuss her goals? Almost two years ago, Chief Harteau asked the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to examine the MPD’s oversight, discipline and preventing of misconduct, resulting in two reports. Dr. Ellen Scrivner, Ph.D., ABPP, was on the core team of both:

  • 2014: The DOJ Diagnostic Center presented assessment findings to MPD and the broader Minneapolis community in October 2014.
  • 2015: The current report, Diagnostic Analysis of Minneapolis Police Department, was released January 28, 2015.

“Leadership,” fearing diagnostic analysis, asked Governor Mark Dayton five months ago for significant funding for themselves, claiming that more funding would guarantee success in the war on violence. Some of the ecumenical leadership also wanted the MPD placed in Federal Receivership. Why? Is there something “leadership” isn’t doing for community that they don’t want exposed?

They need to pay attention to the recommendations in the January 28, 2015, diagnostic analysis report. Chief Harteau has embraced all of its recommendations. Why can’t they? Its steering committee has five subcommittees reporting to it:

  • Communications
  • Conduct and oversight
  • Community relations
  • Early Intervention System (EIS)
  • Coaching

The MPD has received praise for its positive response to the recommendations. So why does “leadership” remain so negative and cynical?

“Leadership” too often misses that “community” means engaging those living in the community. Instead, “leadership” asks for more funding for themselves to do planning but little for the community.

The DOJ Office of Justice Programs has reviewed volumes of data, information, recommendations, and conclusions. The MPD will be doing everything asked for.

One of the areas of concern is analysis of where the millions of dollars went that were awarded, granted or paid to African American organizations and individuals to plan for the safety of the African American community. The DOJ wants to know how the African American organizations spent the millions of dollars poured into their organizations.

When Chief Harteau asked for assistance, she indicated she expected African Americans would be in the forefront of critiquing and evaluating how the millions of dollars were spent. Now they will get their chance.

There is displeasure in some African American organizations. They don’t want to be audited, reviewed and critiqued. They reflect what African American Professor John McWhorter calls in the subtitle of his book Losing the Race, Self-Sabotage in Black America. For 15 years, some of these organizations and individuals have claimed their leadership would make the community safe. Ask yourselves this: Have they?

The yearly empty summer rite discussing how to keep the African American community safe is reflected in “leadership’s” claim that they can reduce violence in the spring of 2015. All involved regarding the summer planning would do well to review the five years of reports by the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC). Newcomers to the public safety scene in the Twin Cities are especially urged to familiarize themselves with the PCRC work so they can bring themselves up to speed with factual information consistent with the factual events in the Twin Cities and throughout the State of Minnesota.

The subcommittees are already at work on phase one, which will end making recommendations for phase two. We look forward to successful implementation of recommended actions.

Stay tuned.

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