Officials from local law enforcement agencies gathered Wednesday on Nicollet Mall to dispel worries that visitors to downtown Minneapolis this summer will fall victim to crime.
"Everyone should feel safe," said Maj. Darrell Huggett of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, which will have patrols out for the seventh year as part of a joint effort with Minneapolis and Metro Transit police.
Minneapolis police Inspector Eddie Frizell, commander of the First Precinct, and Chief Tim Dolan said officers are going to specific downtown areas three times a day, at times when there had been problems, to shake hands and look people in the eyes.
Violent crime has risen downtown in the first five months of the year.
Shane Zahn, director of safety initiatives for the Downtown Improvement District, said 700 downtown employees have attended workshops where they were encouraged to be aware of who is around them when they take out their smartphones, in order to avoid having them snatched out of their hands by thieves.