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Jensen, Walz taking very different tracks on public safety

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — The shooting at the Minnesota State Fair Saturday night is a reminder that violent crime has risen the past two years around the state.

Crime is a central issue in the fall campaigns. In this edition of Talking Points, Esme Murphy looks at the very different proposals the major gubernatorial candidates have on public safety.

Earlier this month, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension released its uniform crime report and, to no one’s surprise, violent crime is up 22 percent.

Gov. Tim Walz has been stressing that he has ordered the Minnesota State Patrol to supplement police patrols in key areas of the Twin Cities. Walz says he would also like more funding for police, but a deal for that fell apart at the legislature. Metro Transit is also beefing up its law enforcement presence at light rail stops.  

But Walz’s Republican opponent says that is not enough. Dr. Scott Jensen is calling for tougher sentences for violent offenders and he wants carjacking to be declared its own crime with serious penalties. Jensen says public safety is a major focus of his campaign. 

Last week, Walz was live at WCCO’s State Fair booth. This week, it was Jensen’s turn. 

“I think it’s absolutely un-debatable that Minnesota is not as safe as we would like it to be. I think earlier in the last couple of weeks we had Gov. Walz saying that people can come to the fair and enjoy the tradition and be safe,” he said.

A deal on public safety stalled at the legislature, with Democrats wanting to include money for diversion programs and Republicans focusing on tougher penalties.

Another part of the public safety debate is gun control. Jensen, who four years ago sponsored a gun control measure in the legislature, is now a firm opponent of any gun control measures. Walz, on the other hand, says gun control needs to be part of the solution.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning every Sunday at 6, 7 and 10:30 a.m.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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