U of M president now plans to ramp up police presence after 3 students shot in Dinkytown

Despite President Joan Gabel’s current plan to increase the police presence around campus, the university cut some ties with MPD just last year.

Background: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities/Facebook. Right: President Joan Gabel/University of Minnesota.

Five people were injured in an overnight shooting over the weekend in Dinkytown, a Minneapolis neighborhood.

Three of the five are students at the University of Minnesota, the school confirmed Monday. The University of Minnesota Police Department sent out a “Safe-U Emergency” notification just after midnight on June 19, advising students to stay away from the area.

A “limited suspect description” was known at the time, the notification reads.

Police believe the shooting was targeted, and the five injured bystanders were hit by stray bullets, KARE 11 reported. None of the injuries were life-threatening, and all victims were admitted to the hospital after police arrived on scene.

President Joan Gabel sent an email Monday to students and staff outlining extra safety precautions the university will take following the Dinkytown shooting.

“Our city is not immune to public safety challenges, as crime is up in many cities nationwide,” Gabel wrote. “We should, nonetheless, be able to feel safe in the neighborhoods and areas surrounding our Twin Cities campus.”

Gabel noted that, after coordinating with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department, new safety measures will be established right away, including having more MPD officers present “during the late-night hours,” she wrote.

UMPD will be designating more of its officers to the Dinkytown area, and security cameras will be installed in the neighborhood and surrounding areas, Gabel added.

Longer-term plans include analyzing where to install additional security cameras and extra “Blue Light” stations used for emergency response. Working with the City of Minneapolis, Gabel said, she also wants to station more streetlights around Dinkytown.

Despite Gabel’s current plan to increase the police presence around campus, the university cut some ties with MPD just last year.

Last spring, Gabel announced that the university would be limiting its relationship with MPD after the release of “the appalling video capturing the actions of MPD officers against George Floyd,” she wrote in a tweet.

U of M students have since been involved in protesting campus police, including a student government leader who encouraged other students to make the lives of campus police officers “hell.”

The U of M began a “campus safety initiative” in September of 2020 to “examine” the university’s approach to “public safety and policing.”

The university also recently initiated a review of whether its police department should continue to provide mutual aid to surrounding jurisdictions. This review came after students discovered that some UMPD officers assisted in policing the riots and protests that followed Daunte Wright’s death.

Minnesota House Republicans reminded their followers Monday that Democrats “blocked amendments to hire more UMPD officers.”

The weekend shootings were the latest incidents in a sustained increase in crime around campus, including a string of 10 robberies in five days last month.