Nearly two years into an unrelenting crime wave, the Minnesota State Patrol announced Monday that it will increase its presence on freeways in Minneapolis — for 10 nights only.
Gov. Tim Walz reportedly touted the new initiative in a meeting Monday morning with north Minneapolis leaders. The governor previously declined to send the State Patrol or National Guard to Minneapolis at the request of concerned residents.
“The governor shares their urgency to improve public safety and meets with community leaders in north Minneapolis on this issue. However, the State Patrol and Minnesota National Guard are not a substitute for a qualified local police department,” his office said in September.
The new effort — called Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) — will run from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. each night. Troopers will focus on excessive speed enforcement and criminal activity, the Department of Public Safety said in a press release.
“Some drivers are speeding for no reason, while others are fleeing police after committing a crime,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “These HEAT patrols will increase our presence on the freeways so we can stop speeders and catch criminals who attempt to escape. If you don’t pull over we’re going to find you with our aviation assets.”
The Department of Public Safety said the new patrols follow a meeting last week between police chiefs and sheriffs. They apparently discussed ways the State Patrol could support local law enforcement in responding to crime.