Council Member Alondra Cano, Council Member Andrew Johnson (left) and Council Member John Quincy (far right) join the celebration of the promotion of Inspector Catherine Johnson, who has been successfully leading the Third Precinct.
Dear Neighbors,
One of the issues that is so troubling on our streets, the streets where your children and mine grow up and learn about the world, is the consistent presence of commercial sexual exploitation. These activities are often accompanied by drug use and sales, loitering, and harassment, especially of women and girls.
I am actively working with our multi-jurisdictional partners, our business community and our social service providers to properly target our law enforcement efforts and identify the gaps we need to fill. We need to have a fully resourced, balanced and coordinated approach at working with the women who are caught in the cycle of chemical dependency and sexutal exploitation. It is important to acknowledge that many of the women on our streets are the daughters, sisters, and mothers that also live in our communities.
Over the next weeks, our Crime and Safety newsletter will go in-depth on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking with guest columns from some experts in the field. This week we are hearing from Charisma Smith of PRIDE, a program of the Family Partnership, one of the organizations that does direct outreach and provides comprehensive treatment to prostituted women.
Over the past week I've had two important meetings to help us refine our plan of action to address the crime, safety and commercial sexual exploitation issues on our streets. These meetings are a follow-up to the crime and safety event I convened at Plaza Verde in August.
First, Commissioner Peter McLaughlin pulled together some key personnel from the County to discuss the issues that the community had identified during our Plaza Verde meeting, with a focus on probation and commercial sexual exploitation. The Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation has committed to immediately increasing the amount of time that their Community Corrections officers will spend on the street, driving around with MPD officers and interacting with their clients. Commissioner McLaughlin and the other members of the Hennepin County board are also considering a proposal to permanently increase the number of officers in community corrections which will bring caseloads down and allow even more interaction with the community. We are also pursuing a conversation about how to ensure more prostituted women are able to enroll in the diversion program called GIFT (referenced in her article below).
Senator Jeff Hayden also held a follow up meeting with County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, State Representative Karen Clark, State Representative Susan Allen, MetCouncil Chair Adam Duininck, Mayor Betsy Hodges, and I to coordinate strategies and review funding opportunities to hire street outreach workers who can engage the women on East Lake Street. As the City's budget process evolves into a December approval and as we gear up for the next state legislative session I will keep you updated on the resources we're able to secure to address the root causes of the commercial sexual exploitation on our streets.
Much more remains to be done and I will continue to make this a priority for our office. We are making progress day by day and I appreciate your partnership in this shared effort to make our streets safe and livable for all.

Call 911 to report any criminal activity or if you see or knnow of a child who is being hurt or exploited.
Call Dawn at Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center 612-728-2000 to get help for American Indian women experiencing commercial sexual exploitation, chemical dependency, and domestic violence. The MIWRC is also able to serve GLBTQ victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Call PRIDE 24 hour crisis line 612-728-2062 to get help for people experiencing commercial sexual exploitation or substace abuse issues. PRIDE is also equipped to serve GLBTQ victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Make a child protection report at 612-348-3552 or online if you encounter a child who you think is being sexually exploited. 
Call St. Stephen's Street Outreach Workers 612-874-0311 to get immediate help for people who are experiencing homelessness.
Call Day One Services 24 hour crisis line 1-866-223-1111 to get help for people experiencing commercial sexual exploitation, sexual violence, or domestic abuse.
The Family Partnership PRIDE Program
By Charisma Smith
PRIDE (Promoting Recovery, Independence, Dignity, and Equality) is a program of The Family Partnership established in 1978 when a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation came to us seeking mental health therapy. She and her therapist worked to develop a program tailored specifically to women trying to escape a life of commercial sexual exploitation. PRIDE has since evolved greatly from its humble beginnings.  
With the help of funding from the Minnesota Office of Justice Programming and the Greater Twin Cities United Way, PRIDE has grown into a multi-intervention service provider, offering services to commercially sexually exploited individuals. Some of the services offered include: safety planning, one-on-one support, counseling and support groups, legal assistance and advocacy, relapse prevention programming, housing, and LGBTQ-specific advocacy.
One-on-one support is provided by professionally trained staff with a clear understanding and, for some, personal experience in commercial sexual exploitation. The relationship between staff and participant is built upon understanding, clear boundaries, trust, and a code of ethics.
Our support groups provide individuals with a safe environment where they can survey their experiences and connect with others with similar experiences. During group sessions our survivors work to distinguish the difference between their current self and their core self, making them more receptive to building healthy relationships with peers, and more receptive to receiving the education and resources that will aid them in forever escaping a life of sexual exploitation.
Partnerships are at the core of the work we do. By maintaining effective partnerships with survivors, local, regional and national agencies, community members, and those who help fund PRIDE, we provide security to commercially sexually exploited individuals.
In partnership with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center and the Minenapolis Police Department, PRIDE staff provide in-person outreach on Lake Street, speaking to individuals directly impacted by commercial sexual exploitation. Much of this work is done during ride-alongs with members of theThird Precicnt.
PRIDE also partners with the Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation to create a post charge diversion program (GIFT Calendar), allowing women with prostitution-related charges to remain in the community and receive services. Participation in programs that address chemical dependency, trauma, mental, physical, and behavioral health, and parenting is required. After two years’ involvement in the diversion program, we have found that a majority of participants are able to reclaim their lives without fear of relapse.
If you or anyone you know sees a suspected incident of commercial sexual exploitation, we urge you not to intervene personally, but to call 911 immediately to report the buyer of sex. Reporting the buyer to the authorities exposes the demand in our communities and holds the individual accountable for their actions.
For more information about The Family Partnership PRIDE program, contact Charisma Smith at 612.728.2080 or by email. PRIDE staff can also be reached by calling our 24-Hour Crisis Line at 612.728.2062 (collect calls accepted) or toll free at 888.774.3399.
For more information on The Family Partnership, visit their website, or call 612.339.9101.
Alondra Cano represents the Ninth Ward on the Minneapolis City Council. The Ninth Ward consists of the Central, Corcoran, East Phillips, Midtown Phillips, and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods along with a sliver of Longfellow. Our diverse and vibrant communities boast beautiful parks, a number of thriving small business corridors, the Midtown Exchange, world class hospitals, and an informed and engaged community of changemakers, artists, and activists.
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911 for all emergencies.
612-348-2345 for non-emergencies.
If you suspect drug dealing but have not actually seen it call 612-673-5706.
If you are in doubt call 911 and they will route your call properly.
Contact Crime Prevention Specialist Karen Notsch 612-673-2856 for issues South of Lake Street.
Contact Crime Prevention Specialist John Baumann 612-825-6138 for issues North of Lake Street.
Read more about the ways Crime Prevention Specialists can help.
Check out MPD's Third Precinct website for additional information and resources.
My office has continued to build on the efforts of our Council predecessor Gary Schiff to address nuisance properties by meeting monthly to identify and monitor problem properties in our neighborhoods. Each month representatives from the City of Minneapolis' police department, attorney's office, housing inspections, business licensing, parking enforcement and the County's Hennepin County prosecutor's and probation office meet to coordinate and discuss commercial, residental rental and owner occupied buildings that are causing problems related to public safety.
Problem properties should be reported to your area's Crime Prevention Specialist or to the Ninth Ward office at 673-2209. Please note that MPD needs to receive two reports on the same problem property in order to prevent the program from being mis-used.
With the Super Bowl coming to Minneapolis, which causes an increase in commercial sexual exploitation and minor sex trafficking, a multi-jurisdictional task force is being convened to prepare. You can reach the co-chairs of the Super Bowl Sex Trafficking Committee by reaching Hennepin County Staff Member Amanda Koonjbeharry or Vice President of the Women's Foundation Terry Williams.

The Minneapolis City Attorney's Office is putting together a City pre-charge diversion program for women arrested for loitering with intent to prostitute. This would be a voluntary treatment program that women would opt into that would prevent them from being on the streets and would avoid creating a criminal record on their file. If you have questions about this effort, which will begin next Spring, please contact Nicole Appelbaum from the City Attorney's Office.
Call (612) 673-2209
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