5th Precinct update: New recruits on the way

Five new officer recruits start night shifts at the 5th Precinct in March.

As the new officers arrive, two other officers are transitioning to the 4th Precinct where they anticipate busier shifts, said Insp. Todd Loining.

“Some of the younger officers want that opportunity,” he said.

The precinct is currently testing two different body camera technologies and gauging their usefulness during inclement weather. A department-wide rollout for the technology is slated for late 2015.

“My understanding is they have really been helpful,” Loining said. “In numerous incidents we have not just the visual, but the recorded audio, which is always helpful.”

He said Southwest-area schools haven’t received any additional bomb threats since January threats were aimed at Southwest and Washburn High Schools. The threats are still under investigation, he said.

Also under investigation is a Jan. 31 incident in which a car holding suspected shoplifters struck an officer in the Cub Foods parking lot at the 5900 block of Nicollet. The officer shot at the vehicle one time, police said, and the vehicle fled. The officer is back to work and recovered fully, Loining said.

Loining said the precinct is seeing a pattern of burglaries in apartments, storage lockers and laundry rooms. A “never-ending battle” continues to be thefts from motor vehicles, he said, where items of value are left in plain view.

“Most of what we deal with in this precinct is property crimes,” Loining said.