An uptick in crime
Crime in the Como area is up in almost every category in the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, according to city statistics.
Residents, visitors and businesses reported 463 crimes in District 10 from January to June, a 17.2 percent increase from crimes reported in the same six-month period of 2019. That is in line with crime in Saint Paul as a whole, which increased by 16.8 percent from 2019 to 2020, according to preliminary reports compiled by police in the city’s Crime Incident Report Dataset.
Among the more disturbing trends:
• Confirmed reports of gunshots increased from 10 in 2019 to 32 in 2020; this year’s number is more than twice the previous 5-year average.
• Robberies increased from 6 in 2019 to 20 in 2020; this year’s number is almost four times the previous 5-year average.
• Domestic assaults increased by more than a third, from 13 to 18 in the six-month period.
• Theft increased 11.1 percent overall, driven by a 40.5 percent increase in stolen vehicles, and a 17.2 percent increase in vehicle break-ins. Vehicle break-ins, in fact, have now more than doubled from three years ago.
• Burglaries increased 18.9 percent in total; cases in which burglars forced their way into a home, garage or business nearly doubled from 11 to 21.
• Theft, robberies, vandalism, and gunshots are at their highest levels in the six years for which statistics are readily available.
The only major category where reported crimes decreased was narcotics arrests, which fell from 26 to 16.
Meanwhile, however the neighborhood continues to have the third-lowest crime rate in Saint Paul, a ranking that has not changed. Only Highland and Macalester-Groveland have lower crime rates.
Special election set in South Como, Energy Park
Community members in South Como or Energy Park can vote between Sept. 8 and 15 in a special election to fill a vacancy on the District 10 board. Residents can vote absentee in two ways:
• You can vote online by requesting a ballot before noon on Tuesday, Sept. 15. District 10 will email you a secure link to your ballot. You must vote no later than Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m.
• You can request a paper ballot and vote by regular mail. To make sure there’s enough turnaround time, you must request a paper ballot no later than 8 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. District 10 will mail you a ballot with a return envelope; the District 10 office must receive your paper ballot no later than Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m.
To request a ballot: Fill out the form at www.district10comopark.org/ballot.html. Or, call the district office at 651-644-3889.
Who can vote: All residents age 16 or older who live in Sub-District 4 are eligible to vote. So are authorized representatives from a business or nonprofit organization with a physical location in Sub-District 4. The Sub-District 4 boundaries are Dale Street on the east, Snelling Avenue on the west, and the two sets of BNSF railroad tracks on the north and south.
Become a candidate: Community members in Sub-District 4 can file as candidates to join the board by filling out the form at www.district10comopark.org/d10_application.html. The winning candidate will serve until April 2021, filling the remainder of the term left vacant by Bob Jacobson, who is moving out of District 10. The filing deadline is Monday, Sept. 7.
Call or link into D10 Meetings
Pandemic or not, renters, homeowners and other community members are always welcome to participate in District 10’s board and committee meetings. Join either by video conference or by phone.
To obtain links, phone numbers, or other access information, send a request by email to email@example.com. Or, call 651-644-3889. Upcoming meetings:
• Neighborhood Relations: Tuesday, Sept. 1
• Land Use: Wednesday, Sept. 2
• Environment: Wednesday, Sept. 9
• Board meeting: Tuesday, Sept. 15
All meetings begin at 7 p.m.
Submitted by Michael Kuchta, District 10 Community Council executive director.