5th Precinct hires new crime prevention specialist

The Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct filled its crime prevention specialist (CPS) roster in early July after running short-staffed for five months.

Amy Lavender, a former 911 operator, dispatcher and supervisor, completed the three-person team. She’s the new CPS for the precinct’s third sector, which includes the Fulton, Lynnhurst, Tangletown, Windom, Kenny and Armatage neighborhoods.

CPSs are not officers, but civilians who work with residents, neighborhood organizations and businesses to identify crime trends, develop crime-prevention strategies and resolve complaints about problem properties, among other duties. The 5th Precinct has a CPS for each of its three sectors.

Lavender, who has a degree in criminal justice from Metropolitan State University, worked in 911 for more than a decade and had been interested in a CPS position for years. She said her past job was rewarding, but she prefers getting out and talking to people.

“I got to do a lot of that in 911 of course,” she said. “But I like the one-on-one, or in-person face-to-face interaction.”

She said being a CPS is also more satisfying than working in 911 because she gets to find solutions to problems and see them resolved, rather than routing emergency calls and never knowing the outcome.

Lavender replaces Sarah Mahmud, who left the precinct for another job in January.

CPSs Tom Thompson and Chelsea Adams had been covering the entire precinct before the position was filled.

“We’re going to be able to respond quicker now to community concerns,” Thompson said.

Here’s a breakdown of 5th Precinct sectors, lieutenants and CPSs:

Sector One

Neighborhoods: Stevens Square-Loring Heights, Whittier, Lowry Hill East, East Isles, Lowry Hill, Kenwood, and Cedar-Isles Dean

Lieutenant: Ed Frizell, 673-2919, [email protected].

CPS: Chelsea Adams, 673-2819, [email protected]

Sector Two

Neighborhoods: Lyndale, CARAG, ECCO, West Calhoun, Linden Hills, East Harriet and Kingfield

Lieutennant: Jack Kelly, 673-5576, [email protected]

CPS: Tom Thompson, 673-2823, [email protected]

Sector Three

Neighborhoods: Fulton, Lynnhurst, Tangletown, Windom, Kenny, Armatage

Lieutenant: Chris Hildreth, 673-2755, [email protected]

CPS: Amy Lavender, 673-5407, [email protected]