Board Action Request
Authorize additional $5,000,000 in federal funds for eligible costs, operations, and services to prevent, reduce, and mitigate gun violence; delegate authority to the County Administrator, neg agmts for services; 3/08/22–12/31/24
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes an additional $5,000,000 of its federal funding from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund available under section 603 of the Social Security Act, as added by section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act, together, “Federal Pandemic Funds,” to be utilized for eligible costs, operations, staffing, and services to prevent, reduce, and mitigate gun violence; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in order to implement the above resolving clause, the County Administrator is authorized to negotiate agreements with providers for eligible services to prevent, reduce or mitigate gun violence from March 8, 2022 through December 31, 2024 in a total not to exceed amount of $5,000,000; this includes but is not limited to negotiating amendments and increasing the not to exceed amounts for existing agreements with providers, negotiating new agreements with providers, or transferring funds to constituent units of government or to Hennepin Healthcare Systems, Inc.; that following review and approval by the County Attorney’s Office, the Chair of the board be authorized to sign the agreements; and the Controller be authorized to transfer or disburse funds as directed; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the above-referenced authorization of Federal Pandemic Funds by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners does not imply a continued funding commitment by the county for these costs, operations, or services when Federal Pandemic Funds are no longer available; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County Administrator is directed to seek alternative funding sources for these purposes; and that to the extent other state or federal funding is received for the expenditures authorized by this Resolution, the County Administrator is delegated authority to reduce the above authorization of Federal Pandemic Funds if necessary, to ensure there is no duplication of assistance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in order to implement the above resolving clauses and pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 383B.101 et seq., the County Administrator is authorized to effectuate the goals of this resolution, including but not limited to directing and coordinating county personnel and resources as needed to implement the immediate strategies to prevent, reduce, and mitigate gun violence.
Like many communities across the county, Hennepin County, and specifically Minneapolis continues to be plagued by gun violence.
“According to the latest Uniform Crime Report, the FBI stated that the number of homicides in 2020 nationwide increased almost 30% from 2019, the largest single-year increase the agency recorded since it began tracking these crimes in the 1960s. About 77% of reported murders in 2020 were committed with a gun, up from 74% in 2019”
“More than two-thirds of the country's most populous cities recorded more homicides in 2021 than the previous year, with at least 10 setting all-time homicide records -- with the majority committed with a firearm.”
“Ten of those cities recorded more homicides in 2021 than any other year on record. Those are Philadelphia; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Portland, Oregon; Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Tucson, Arizona. Minneapolis tied its previous record number of homicides, with 97 in the years 1997 and 2021.” (Krishnakumar and Nickeas, January 4, 2022, US homicides: 10 of the country's most populous cities set records last year - CNN)
In Hennepin County, gun violence continues to disproportionately impact communities of color and specifically Black and African American residents.
During the pandemic homicides in Hennepin County increased significantly compared to 2019 when there were 67 across the County. In 2020, 109 homicides were recorded and in 2021, 145 were recorded with most (96) occurring in the city of Minneapolis. In 2020 and 2021, the number of homicides due directly to firearms totaled 65 and 82 respectively.
On June 15, 2021, the County Board approved Board Action Request 21-0232 authorizing $5,000,000 in federal funds for eligible costs, operations, and services to prevent, reduce and mitigate gun violence. Since then, Law, Safety and Justice and Human Services staff have collaborated using a holistic approach to develop and implement short term strategies consistent with BAR 21-0232 to address gun violence in Hennepin County.
Those short-term efforts are focused on implementing violence interruption and intervention strategies and wrap around support services utilizing community providers with capacity to begin immediate programming to address violence; and a competitive application process for capacity building for community providers focused on violence intervention, neighborhood revitalization, youth, mentoring, support services and trauma-informed restorative practices for those experiencing violence. Additionally, funding has supported an increase in staffing and training to enhance expertise in firearms forensics in the Law, Safety and Justice line of business for investigation of gun-related cases.
Specifically, these strategies include:
- Supporting Hennepin County’s Next Step Program, a hospital-based violence interruption service for victims ages 12-28 who are hospitalized due to violent injury. Next Step provides wrap-around services including basic needs, food and transportation, safe housing, job training and employment, and access to crime victim resources.
- Supporting 24/7 gender-specific violence intervention services tailored to the immediate needs of youth (ages 14-24) under the supervision of the Minnesota Fourth Judicial District Court, Minnesota Department of Corrections and/or Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation and their support system through workshops, hands-on training, mentoring, life skills, transportation, meals, and other services focused on reducing the impact of trauma related to community violence in Hennepin County’s most impacted communities.
- Supporting on the ground, violence interruption/intervention through patrol and outreach services by community providers in neighborhoods experiencing high levels of crime and violence.
- Implementing trauma-informed, culturally specific services and programming for clients who are Black, Indigenous or persons of color in Adult Probation using the HEAT model (starting 2022).
- Increasing resources in law enforcement forensics to support investigations of violent crime cases.
- Building community capacity by funding violence intervention programs, neighborhood revitalization efforts, youth programming and mentoring, and services and restorative practices for those experiencing trauma in communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence.
- Creating partnerships and communication channels with the Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) and the State of Minnesota to align efforts, maximize resources and strengthen impacts.
- Working with Hennepin County Enterprise Data Analytics to develop a data collection process and building analytics to monitor outputs, outcomes, and program effectiveness.
The initial $5,000,000 in funding has been fully allocated to quickly address the immediate need in our community. This request will provide funding for:
- Continuation of our existing gun violence interruption programs through December of 2022.
- Creation of a 1.0 coordinator position to manage the ongoing violence reduction strategies and develop a long-term plan in coordination with other county programming focused on reducing disparities (e.g., workforce development, mental health/addiction strategies) and violence prevention.
- Continued exploration between Hennepin County and cities impacted by gun violence to explore ways to further partner to address gun violence and its negative impacts.
- Development of a Request for Proposals to be published this year focused on identifying the county’s long-term direction and strategies related to ongoing funding of gun violence reduction.
- Provide funding to evaluate the effectiveness of county efforts in this strategy.
Impact/Outcome: Approval of this request will allow the county to continue to provide critical support and recovery services needed to address the negative impact of gun violence worsened by the pandemic and ensure mitigation of additional negative social and economic impacts in disparately impacted communities. By investing in capacity building and community led solutions, and by partnering and facilitating connections across stakeholder groups we can ensure our strategies are community informed and grounded in racial equity. By developing and utilizing data-driven performance indicators we can measure progress towards our overarching goals.
Current Request: The current request is to authorize the additional use of federal funding in the amount of up to $5 million for costs, operations, staffing, and services to prevent, reduce, and mitigate gun violence, including both external contracted services as well as internal resources and operations. The current request delegates authority to the County Administrator to implement these immediate strategies.