MINNEAPOLIS – A recent increase in incidents of violent crime in downtown Minneapolis has caused the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to start a joint venture in the area.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek told KSTP that he reached out to new Minneapolis Police Chief Madeira Arradondo to pitch the idea. Arradondo was receptive and the two law enforcement agencies have been working together in the area.
“I have 12 deputies up and down Hennepin Avenue and pretty much on every block in the downtown from about 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.,” Stanek told KSTP in an interview. “And that will end when the random violence ends down here.”
The timing of the end of the deputies presence in downtown Minneapolis is subject to some disagreement. While Stanek said he was not sure of when the patrols will end, he figured his deputies would be on the downtown Minneapolis beat at least through the end of the upcoming weekend.
Meanwhile a Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson told KSTP that the extra patrols provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office are scheduled to end on Sunday.
Residents have appreciated the increase in the presence of law enforcement officers, attributing a feeling of increased safety in the downtown area to the deputies’ presence.
“You don’t see any gambling going on right now. You don’t see any open bottles and you don’t see anyone smoking dope and that is, I believe, because they are afraid of the deputies,” small business owner and Warehouse Business District Association Board Member Tim Mahoney told KSTP.