Visitors, residents and business owners in downtown Minneapolis will notice extra police patrols again this summer as part of the SafeZone initiative.
For the 15th year, Minneapolis and Metro Transit police and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office are providing additional officers to respond fast to street problems and focus on crime hot spots, said Lt. Mike Jerde of the Sheriff’s Office.
Metro Transit and the Sheriff’s Office have assigned seven officers to patrol downtown, from the Mississippi River to S. 12th Street and S. 4th Avenue to Hawthorne Avenue.
SafeZone has contributed to a drop in downtown crime, and people often tell officers that they appreciate the extra visibility, Jerde said.
“We are patrolling crimes large and small,” he said. “We still need the public to help us out. If you see something, say something.”
The collaboration, also known as the “Joint Beats” program, is a key part of downtown’s comprehensive public safety strategy, said Steve Cramer, president of the Downtown Council.
Police share information with social service street outreach workers and staffers with the Downtown Improvement District, the so-called “ambassadors” funded by commercial property owners.
SafeZone, which was launched Memorial Day, runs through Labor Day.
“Downtown is an active and vibrant part of our county, and our team is excited to continue working together with our local partners during Joint Beats,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson. “Together we look forward to a fun, safe summer downtown.”