A “disconnected population of young men” is the main reason for an increase in violent crime in Minneapolis, new police chief Tim Dolan tells columnist Ruben Rosario of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Dolan says the city had seen a reduction in programs on juvenile crime and was “starting not to care about truancy.” Now Minneapolis has bolstered its juvenile unit and will try to bring suspected juveniles to a central location for an assessment to determine where they should be referred. “What we don’t want to do is keep driving around with these kids in the back seat,” Dolan says.
Dolan was asked whether the lines have been “blurred between the traditional role of the police department and now what seems more and more like a player in the social fabric of a community.” He answered, “hugely,” citing truancy enforcement, dealing with mental health issues, and handling the homeless downtown. “It’s not law enforcement per se, but it’s more social work,” Dolan says. The chief says of the ” new generation of cops, they are not the coffee drinkers. They are the Mountain Dew generation, as we call them. They are all about fairness.”