Minneapolis police are arranging for help this summer from county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to keep a crime-fighting presence on the streets, even as budget cuts have thinned its ranks, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Police Chief Robert Olson will announce details tonight. “We’re not going to be doing blitzes or sweeps,” Olson said yesterday. “The idea is to have some sort of governmental presence to stay in touch with the hot spots. We want to keep these gangsters and thugs off base and off guard.”
One City Council member offered an example of a possible increased law enforcement presence on the streets that people working off community service sentences could be sent out to pick up trash during the times when crimes are most likely to be committed.
Since last summer, the police department has laid off 14 officers and 42 civilian employees to cut $7 million from its budget. Gang homicides are down this year, but Olson said police have seen a spike in street robberies and assaults. Most involve drug dealers and buyers, as well as some gang shootings and retaliations, he said.