MINNEAPOLIS — At Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis Saturday afternoon, dozens of people gave Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo a standing ovation before his speech even began.
Arradondo turned over the praise to the many people involved in a gun violence prevention initiative called 21 Days of Peace.
Participants have been building relationships with individuals they see out on the streets. Sometimes hosting events with free bibles and food. Sometimes just being there.
"Part of the uniform equipment of police officers is we have a vest," Arradondo said. "For the 21 Days of Peace, members who have been out here in these hot spots, I know you ain't wearing vests, but when I see the work that you are doing it is like some forcefield that surrounds you and protects you and you're able to meet the hearts and the minds of these young people."
Commissioner John Harrington with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety says, over the last 100 days, there have been 36 arrests and charges relating to serious gun crimes and they've taken 16 guns off the streets.
Inspector Charlie Adams, who commands Minneapolis' 4th Precinct, described areas like Logan and Lowry as "completely cleaned up."
But with 70 homicides in Minneapolis this year alone and the unsolved murders of several children, leaders say there is more work to do.
"We will not give up," Harrington said. "We will not let this go. We will follow this until the ends of the Earth and we will hold the people who killed those babies accountable."
Areas identified as needing more help include Broadway and Lyndale and the Amstar gas station.
In addition to North Minneapolis, 21 Days of Peace focuses on crime prevention in South Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Brooklyn Park.