Downtown Minneapolis has armed itself with extra police and sheriff’s patrols and asked private security guards to alert them through the Internet and on a new radio frequency to combat street crimes, says the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Police have installed 29 security cameras to record potential criminal activity in the area popular with tourists, diners and other visitors to downtown entertainment and activities.
Some 30 downtown security guards will carry radios that can access a common frequency with one another and with Minneapolis police. The idea is to alert downtown businesses of potential trouble headed their way. In the first few months of the year, downtown Minneapolis experienced a 21 percent increase over the same period a year ago in crimes such as robbery, aggravated assault, homicide, arson, rape, and theft. “When you think of the hundreds of thousands of people downtown on a given day, downtown is relatively safe. But when we do have these high profile incidents, it has an impact on that perception,” said Michael McLaughlin of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.