Sheriff Stanek is taking credit for the 36% drop in violent crime rate, which is NOT a credible claim. Stanek twitted that “Violent crime is down 36% in Hennepin County since I was first elected Sheriff.” with a campaign video saying the same. Sheriff Stanek’s office direct polices less than 1% of the population. Sheriff Stanek’s office only did 676 arrests of the 45,000 arrests done in Hennepin county in the year 2013. Indeed the challenger Eddie Frizell has more of a claim as an assistant chief in the Minneapolis Police force. The Minneapolis police made about 21,000 arrests of the 45,000 arrests done in Hennepin county. Indeed the crime rate has been falling everywhere in the past 20 years: homicides dropped 51 percent, property thefts dropped 64 percent. Sheriff Stanek could just as credibly claim responsibility for bringing down the crime rate everywhere, not just Hennepin county.
Sheriff Stanek taking credit for other people’s work is not new. Stanek tried to take all the credit for the handling of 35W bridge collapse which involved many agencies. Yet he spent $30,000 on a video to showcase his role. Actually Minneapolis Deputy Chief Rob Allen was the unified incident commander at the site.
Maybe Sherif Stanek should just take credit for what his office actually reports out as Key Results in Hennepin County 2014 Budget Document:
Number of police/fire/medical calls dispatched: 647,679
Number of jail bookings: 35,910 Number of court security escorts : 33,552
Number of crime scene responses: 2,964
Number of mortgage foreclosure sales: 2,596
One can see that the Sheriff’s office is providing support services to policing. The real question is does the contributions that Sheriff Stanek’s office makes – dispatching a phone call, holding someone in jail, escorting a person to court, responding in a crime scene or foreclosing on a mortgage allow Sheriff Stanek to take credit for 36% drop in violent crime rate? This is a contribution, but I think taking the full credit is going too far. It is just like taking all the credit for 35W bridge collapse.
We could look at what Sheriff Stanek has claimed in news coverage for big improvements that his office made in local policing.
On April 23, 2013, the Sun Post reported the purchase of a $400,000 super-armored vehicle. Military-grade armor covered 360 degrees of the vehicle. Do you believe the use of this heavily armored vehicle going through the streets of Hennepin county was a significant contribution to the 36% drop in violent crime rate?
On September 18, 2013, in Star Tribune, Sheriff Stanek claimed that “I have seen firsthand in Hennepin County that there is a direct connection between marijuana and violent crime.” Do you believe that Staneks tough policy on the prosecution of marijuana cases was a significant contribution to the 36% drop in violent crime rate?
Indeed one can question Stanek leadership. when the Hennepin County deputies endorsed Rich Stanek’s opponent, Eddie Frizell, by nearly 8-to-1 margin. Indeed instead of armored car theatrics and being featured on opinion pages, Eddie Frizell offers a working-on-the-streets kind of leadership.
Frizell says “Our County desperately needs leadership that will work in close partnership with local agencies and community leaders. We must have a boots on the ground, community Sheriff that spends time working in the jails, riding in squad cars, patrolling with deputies on our waters, and sitting with 911 dispatchers. Solving the morale crises that Sheriff Stanek has neglected over the past 8 years is the only way we will build the type of organization that attracts the best in law enforcement and continues to reduce crime.”
Two pictures emerge: Stanek’s armored car patrolling streets or Frizell sitting next to a 911 dispatcher.
I believe that a Sheriff that manages people better would be a better choice than a Sheriff who likes to buy expensive toys.
What do you think?
Comments below fold.