R.T. Rybak and Tim Dolan address growing homicide numbers

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and police Chief Tim Dolan called a press conference today at the Fairview rec center in North Minneapolis, and told the dutifully assembled to have no fear, they had a new plan for tamping down the city's rash new of violence.

That violence includes a 2010 homicide count of 21 that by Memorial Day had already surpassed the total for all of 2009, 19, and a spike in aggravated assaults.

Said plan includes targeting adult repeat offenders, getting guns off the streets, and finding ways to keep teenagers occupied during the summer vacation so they don't end up as cannon fodder.

And a reminder that things could be worse.

Last year's homicide numbers marked a 27-year low.

Hitting thugs "with a heavy charge with a weapon or a federal offense is what it's going to take to get them off the street," Dolan said. "It's a small percentage of people who are causing a large problem and that's the group we have to keep targeting."

Drop a dime, Dolan said. "We need people calling police, we need people to be observant, we need people to engage in their neighborhoods."

"As we see crime moving up right now, we're going to nip it in the bud," Rybak told reporters.

In the bud? Halfway through the year? Better late than never.

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