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Minneapolis PD, State Patrol plan more patrols to crack down on weekend crime

MINNEAPOLIS — Another day, another shooting.

“It’s just something that’s becoming normal, and people are kind of used to it if you live down here,” Ben Markham, a rising senior at the U living in Dinkytown, lamented to WCCO. “When I walk home from work at night, I make sure I’m not looking down in my phone or have earbuds in so I can make sure I’m aware of my surroundings.”

The latest shooting in Markham’s area took place on Thursday night outside Burrito Loco restaurant; no one was hurt and no one was arrested, but the business on Friday announced it’s closed indefinitely.

“It always seems like it’s a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, this is happening,” Markham added. “I think keeping more police in the area, especially once it gets late on those nights would kind of keep it down a little bit.”

Markham’s hunch is spot on: crime analysis from the Minneapolis Police Department shows the majority of this year’s 5,018 calls for shots fired occur on weekend nights between 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. Data also reveals the gunfire occurs most in the northwest neighborhoods of the city, including Jordan, Willard-Hay and Hawthorne.

Indeed, calls for all sorts of crimes and complaints have flooded 911 dispatchers, including a chaotic July 4th that Mayor Jacob Frey described as “whack-a-mole” with more than 1,300 calls to 911 from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. – the volume of a typical day.

Ahead of this upcoming weekend, both MPD and the Minnesota State Patrol are promising a more active and visible presence to crack down.

“We’re operating under the premise that when people see the police or state troopers, and they believe they’ll take action if they’re behaving illegally, that that has a deterrent effect,” State Patrol Col. Matt Langer explained to WCCO. “It certainly isn’t a cure-all, but it’s what Minnesotans want, it’s what they want to feel safe and that intention for this weekend for a deterrent effect will be on full display.”

State troopers specifically are committing at least two dozen squads to combat street racing, as well as what a spokesman calls “high visibility patrols” on Lake Street and Broadway in downtown Minneapolis.

“Between the Minnesota State Patrol and our trusted law enforcement leaders, working together is always the recipe for success and it will be for the future,” Col. Matt Langer said, adding that aerial support will be available as well. “There are many times with street racing we will see someone in a vehicle taking over an intersection, and two hours they’re arrested when they stop for gas, stop at home, or stop somewhere. We’re very strategic in the work we’re doing and that will continue.”

On Friday night, state patrol said troopers made 279 traffic stops, and 47 drivers were cited for driving without a valid license in Minneapolis. Seventeen people were arrested, 11 of whom were allegedly driving while impaired. Four people were cited for reckless driving.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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