Youth violence continues to fall

With the arrest Wednesday by Minneapolis police of a 15-year-old in connection with the shooting that left two kids wounded, attention has once again shifted to the City’s efforts to prevent youth violence. What a relief to see KARE 11 take on this story by starting with the facts. Police records show that juvenile violent crime is down 26 percent so far this year compared to the same time last year. This is especially positive news given that last year was the second year in a row that juvenile crime decreased in Minneapolis.  As KARE 11 points out, crimes committed in schools are also down 62 percent so far this school year, including everything from assault and disorderly conduct to weapons cases.

This continued drop in juvenile crime follows a year of coordinated efforts to respond to youth violence with tough enforcement, while also working to get at the core issues behind youth violence. In January 2008, Mayor Rybak laid out a blueprint for action to prevent youth violence, with 34 action items to connect every youth with a trusted adult, intervene at the first sign that youth are at risk for violence, restore youth who have gone down the wrong path, and undo the culture of violence in our community. Tangible progress has been made on all 34 action items identified in the plan and work continues to more forward.

Our primary goal is zero youth homicides and we will not rest until that happens. We need everyone in this community to understand that youth violence affects each of us and each of us has a role to play to keep our children and youth safe.  –Mayor R.T. Rybak

The City’s Youth Violence Prevention task force produces regular reports and posts progress on-line for the public to read. The most recent quarterly report was recently posted on-line; it reviews activities and progress in the last quarter of 2008.