The Minneapolis Police Department has unveiled a new website called Inside MPD aimed at taking the force's "communication and community engagement to a whole new level."
Among the first announcements on the site was the formation of a new cold case unit to review dozens of unsolved murders, including that of 3-year-old Terrell Mayes Jr., who was killed four years ago by an errant bullet that tore through his north Minneapolis home.
“The MPD is always looking for new information on ‘cold cases,’ but up until 2015, the Investigative Unit has never had a team where resources are collaboratively dedicated by the MPD, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the department said.
The new unit, dubbed the Cold Case Squad, will be staffed by 10 detectives from the Violent Crimes Investigation Division, and headed by two veteran homicide detectives, according to department spokesman Scott Seroka. The unit will meet monthly with prosecutors from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and an FBI agent assigned to investigate cold cases to decide “what cases out there do we need to take another run at, do we need to put some fresh resources into,” Seroka said.
The police website, which was unveiled on Tuesday morning, would take the department's "communication and community engagement to a whole new level," MPD Chief Janeé Harteau said in an online statement.
“We will work on updating it with content on a daily basis and hope you’ll find it to be your unfiltered source of information regarding the Minneapolis Police Department. But we are not just looking for a place to push out information; our goal is to facilitate a conversation.”
Under Harteau, who has expressed dismay in the local media's coverage of her department, the MPD has been building its online presence over the past few months. The new site will carry news on department-wide initiatives, as well as portals to make it easier for citizens to view up-to-date crime statistics and maps, or file complaints against officers.
"The Department’s goal is to bring residents inside the Department by offering up-to-the-minute information regarding on-going incidents and thorough details on police initiatives and programs," the MPD said.