The Columbia Heights Police Department (CHPD) has started a crime reduction program this summer that addresses crime and offenses in the city. The initiative involves partnering with the Anoka County Sheriffâ€™s Department, the Fridley Police Department, The Anoka-Hennepin Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force (AHDTF) and the Minnesota Gang Strike Force.
They are targeting areas in the city that have crimes against people to enforcement of juvenile offenses â€“ such as curfew and underage drinking. This proactive approach so far has netted 50 arrests and charges for offenses such as curfew violation, possession of drugs and underage consumption of alcohol. In addition, the summer initiative is focusing on two components, one on violent and repeat offenders and problem narcotic areas that relate to many calls to the department.
The CHPD along with AHDTF recently set up surveillance and enforcement operations that resulted in 11 arrests, 2 search warrants and 28 weapons seized since the summer initiative began. By the first week of July, 35 arrests were made, including two felony-level narcotics arrests and three weapons arrests. Some of the arrests identified potential gang members and helped establish safety and security at the Columbia Heights Jamboree festival. This demonstrates that the initiative has a significant impact and brings a real sense of safety and security to the community.
The summer initiative will continue through the end of August and if it works out well, the summer initiative may become a full-time program.