Brooklyn Center’s new police chief has taken stock of the crime situation and determined the city “really” needs help.
Chief Kellace McDaniel spoke at a Brooklyn Center City Council meeting last Monday evening after Commander Tony Gruenig presented various statistics on the city’s crime and police staffing levels, CCX Media reported. McDaniel was appointed to his new role three weeks ago after previously serving as a lieutenant in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
The crime statistics show that certain violent crimes remain at or near previous highs. Although robberies were quite a bit higher in the mid-to-late 2000s than they are projected to be in 2022, aggravated assaults since 2020 have been consistently high, with a record of 90 set last year.
Even granting a projected slight decline for 2022, reports of shots fired would still remain significantly above the average set throughout the 2010s. Last year, Brooklyn Center police saw a record high of 180 shots fired.
Further data presented by Commander Gruenig shows that the Brooklyn Center Police Department is still hurting for officers. Only 34 officers are serving on the force, down 30% from its full capacity of 49 officers.
“We only have three detectives working, versus six or more, seven at times,” Gruenig added.
In his comments before the City Council, McDaniel acknowledged that “there’s a lot going on in the city right now” and admitted to the need for greater assistance in fighting crime.
“Our city needs help,” he said. “We really do. And what we’re doing is we’re trying to branch out to some of these other entities to help us do that.”
The Brooklyn Center chief of police projected a map of the city’s violent crime density that showed various “hot spots” within the city limits. One area in particular, due east of the Crystal Airport around 57th and Xerxes Aves., accounts for 16% of the city’s total violent crime.
McDaniel noted a lot of the crime in the area is committed by “juveniles” and added that Brooklyn Center is suffering from a lack of community policing.
“There’s a lot of shootings going on,” he said. “We haven’t had community policing here in Brooklyn Center for a long time. I think everybody, from what I hear all the time, we want to go back to some sort of community policing, we want community engagement.”
Just a few days after his comments to the council, a murder suspect who fled from police crashed into a car on the border of Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis, killing a six-year-old child.
According to a GoFundMe started for the family, a mother and her four children were traveling home from the water park when the accident occurred.
Brooklyn Center is where former police officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop when she accidentally pulled her handgun instead of her Taser. Wright’s death was followed by several nights of rioting in the city.