The Minnesota State Patrol is stepping up even more to help Minneapolis and other communities across the metro to combat a rise in carjackings, street racing and gun-related and other violent crimes.
This weekend, the patrol will assign 20 extra troopers and deploy its aviation unit to crack down on street racing. Additional 911 dispatchers also will be dedicated to the extra enforcement effort.
"The lawless and dangerous street racing we are seeing is unacceptable and must stop," said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. "The State Patrol has been providing considerable resources to the Twin Cities through the summer, and that is what you will see again this weekend."
This weekend's effort is on top of the "high visibility" effort the patrol is conducting in high crime areas in Minneapolis three days a week. It also comes as the agency continues its Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) campaign in which it places additional troopers on metro area highways and freeways to crack down on speeding and enforce other traffic laws.
The patrol launched HEAT in February, and since then troopers have made more than 14,000 traffic stops and 203 arrests. Troopers also have tagged 96 motorists for driving while impaired and recovered 88 firearms. The program will continue next weekend.
"We have seen dangerous activity escalate in the Twin Cities metro region in the last few weeks," said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington. "The Department of Public Safety — including the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and Minnesota State Patrol — are continuing to work in partnership bringing together our state, local and federal agencies to hold offenders accountable and to keep our communities safe."
Over the past three months, the BCA has assigned 12 investigators and one criminal analyst to conduct homicide and gun crime investigations in Minneapolis and surrounding communities.
"We are working very hard assisting Minneapolis, and the region ... and continue this work to reduce violence in Minneapolis and surrounding areas," said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans.
In May, Gov. Tim Walz provided the Department of Public Safety with $4 million — $1 million each to the State Patrol and BCA to support these initiatives, and another $2 million in grants to assist state organizations continuing to support Minneapolis.