Crime prevention on the minds of north Brainerd residents
The Brainerd Northside Neighborhood Association hosted a neighborhood crime discussion Thursday, March 23, with Brainerd Police Department.
BRAINERD — Crime — specifically the prevention of it — is on the minds of residents in north Brainerd.
The Brainerd Northside Neighborhood Association met at the Brainerd Center Thursday, March 23, to discuss the issue with the Brainerd Police Department.
Krista Soukup, Brainerd Northside Neighborhood Association president, said the group has been meeting for about 20 years and works to bring the community together as well as taking the needs of the community to the proper governing body.
“We're kind of an information hub,” Soukup said. “And then we will go to city council meetings or committee meetings, write letters to the editor, talk to our elected officials about what kind of a collective voice and a resource for neighbors.”
Bringing those voices together, the association invited Brainerd Police Sgt. Derek Pallansch to speak to about a dozen community members about crime and crime prevention in Brainerd’s northside neighborhood.
“One of the questions is drug activity in north Brainerd and in the surrounding area, and I’d say we don't have any overabundance of drug activity in our city,” Pallansch said.
Though the city does deal with its fair share of drugs and drug use, open-air drug use is not something seen in the city of Brainerd, Pallansch explained.
“It's not illegal to be intoxicated in Minnesota as long as you're not doing things that are illegal,” Pallansch said.
Pallansch did warn of the dangers of fentanyl and how it is being disguised in and as other drugs. He said community members might run into dropped drug paraphernalia and they should call the department to report it instead of disposing of it themselves as even a small amount of the drug can kill someone.
“The parks get damaged here or there from some kids but last year there was an increased amount,” Pallansch said. “But the city is helping, we've got the new building and they put some cameras up now that the Police Department has access to.”
The Brainerd Police Department also goes into each park at night to close them around 10 p.m. which ensures each park is secure, has a police presence at night and is empty, curbing some of the vandalism in the parks , Pallansch said.
He did say if there is damage to the park from a storm, and it is not a danger to the public, people should call the city to report the damage.
One thing Pallansch recommended to everyone, if they could afford them, was to install and register a camera system in their homes as they have become instrumental in helping to solve and deter crime.
“When we have crime in neighborhoods and we don't have a suspect, the first thing we start doing is circling blocks looking for who's got cameras,” Pallansch said. “And they pay off all the time.”
Roy Holloway, a northside resident at the meeting, said his home was broken into while they were away on vacation and thanks to photos from his Ring camera, the perpetrator was charged.
Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office Community Watch Cameras program is used to deter crime and promote public safety through collaboration between the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office and the community it serves.
Soukup said the next event the Brainerd Northside Neighborhood Association will be hosting, will be a neighborhood clean-up after the snow melts. However, no date has been set yet as mother nature has delayed things.
The Brainerd Northside Neighborhood Association is a community-based organization encompassing all residents, businesses, nonprofits and faith communities residing within the north area of the city of Brainerd.
For more information on the Brainerd Northside Neighborhood Association email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Soukup at 218-828-4717.
TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email email@example.com .