MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) – Mankato Police are looking for help to control public drunkenness on downtown streets during Mankato State’s homecoming week.
Authorities say alcohol-related crimes already stretch public safety resources and have resulted in a sharp increase in detox demands over the past few weeks.
So they’re asking for help.
“Public Safety personnel are not in a position to resolve this by ourselves. It is for this reason we plan to ask for the community’s assistance by convening a community consortium of stakeholders to analyze the situation and make recommendations as to how best to impact this,” said Todd A. Miller, director of public safety, in a city press release.
With MSU’s homecoming week, police say they are making special efforts to deal with the increased crowds and police calls.
Matt Westermayer, deputy director of public safety, said they will have nearly every member of their staff working this weekend for homecoming, plus assistance from other area law enforcement agencies. He said they will also have an extra late night express bus in operation.
Officials say they are concerned because of recent increases to detox demands — in the past four weeks, 28 people with excessively high alcohol content were transported to detox facilities in New Ulm and other nearby areas. They say about 40 percent of those transported were students.
The public safety department has made steps to try and curb these issues including adding two more police officers to patrol the City Center, two more officers in squad cars to focus on issues involving intoxication, part-time officers patrolling on the weekends and public safety fire service personnel to do occupancy checks at downtown bars.
They say they also plan to create a Volunteers in Police Service unit — enlisting volunteers from the neighborhood associations and public safety Community Emergency Response Team to provide added eyes and ears in parks and neighborhoods.
Police say that group could be used as soon as Halloween.
If you would like more information about this initiative, contact public safety staff at 507-387-8794.