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Drug Enforcement in Minority Communities: The Minneapolis Police Department, 1985-1990

NCJ Number
N Oramas
Date Published
30 pages
This report, using as a case study the efforts of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) to address the sale and use of illicit narcotics, particularly crack, discusses the conflicts inherent in drug law enforcement.
These conflicts center over the police role in combatting drugs and police behavior in minority communities. The study also examines the approaches of two different police chiefs toward drug law enforcement, and community members' perceptions about the chiefs and their officers. In the mid- to late-1980's, the city of Minneapolis began to feel the impact of crack cocaine. The MPD has conducted raids targeted at visible dealers and users and put less effort into targeting hidden dealers and users; as a result, minority communities have received the brunt of enforcement activities. While leaders of special interest groups claiming to represent minority interests have consistently expressed their displeasure with MPD strategies and tactics, residents of some of the targeted neighborhoods believe that police efforts are making a positive impact in their communities. According to its current strategic plan for dealing with the crack problem, the MPD will implement a multifaceted approach by developing community involvement, dedicating more resources to drug law enforcement, devoting more resources at the precinct level to address street- level trafficking, and strengthening the Department's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. 23 reports and 25 references