Extra patrols hit downtown Minneapolis streets Tuesday as the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office began its summer strategy of augmenting regular police patrols.
Sheriff’s deputies will patrol downtown in the afternoons and evenings through Labor Day in partnership with city and Metro Transit police, according to the office. It’s the 10th year of the so-called “SafeZone” patrols.
The start of the patrols come just as Minneapolis police launch their summer crime strategy, focusing on north Minneapolis.
Violent crime, including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, has risen 7 percent in the past year in the city’s First Precinct, which covers downtown. The number of reported violent crimes there so far this year is still 2 percent less than in 2012, however.
Burglary, thefts from vehicles and auto thefts have shown big increases so far this year downtown, rising 42 percent, 25 percent and 30 percent, respectively.