Violent crime is rising in two Minneapolis suburbs, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We believe we are on the front end of a crime increase,” Brooklyn Park Chief Wade Setter said after a 21-year-old mother and her boyfriend were killed in a parking-lot shooting. “What happens in Minneapolis and St. Paul affects all of us in the suburbs to some degree.” Said Brooklyn Center Chief Scott Bechthold: “It’s not just an urban problem. It is emanating outward.”
The two chiefs met recently with Minneapolis law enforcers to plan a joint task force to tackle violent crime in the three cities. Bechthold is not surprised that his city’s rate for serious crime has been close to Minneapolis’ since 2002. “Brooklyn Center is a transitional city. We are a mixture of urban and suburban,” he said. “Our population density is higher, closer to that in Minneapolis than in the third or fourth rings [of suburbs]. Minneapolis police Lt. Greg Reinhardt said that criminals “may start in Minneapolis and end up in Brooklyn Center.” Police have seen gang activity move between Minneapolis and St. Paul, and he suspects it also spreads to suburbia. Crooks who do identity and check theft or vehicle break-ins often work a circuit between suburbs and the core cities in the hope of eluding police.