MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On a picturesque Mother’s Day in downtown Minneapolis, a dangerous reminder filled the frame on Sixth street.
Two windows in a skyway hovering above Sixth Street were boarded up. Below it, the Lyon’s Pub was closed. Both are the aftermath of a Saturday shooting around 8 p.m.
Police said a group of youth were arguing when shots rang out. An innocent bystander unrelated to the argument was shot in the leg. John Mullor was walking by towards his hotel when it happened.
“Especially as someone from out of town… randomly seeing this was kind of frightening,” he said.
Patricia Anderson was visiting downtown Sunday with her family and walked right by the area, not knowing what happened the previous night.
“I think it’s unfortunate and the sad part is I think it could happen pretty much anywhere,” she said.
And as the temperature continues to rise, so too does the possibility of crime. To address that, Downtown Inspector Michael Sullivan with the Minneapolis Police Department’s First Precinct said it begins with a stronger police presence. Not only seeing the officers on foot patrols, but making sure they’re interacting with people.
It was part of his plan he revealed alongside other MPD inspectors representing the other four districts earlier in the month. MPD will use its police reserves, mounted patrol, bicycle officers as well as get assistance from Metro Transit Police.
“I think it’s always a good thing for police to try to make an effort to have a more friendly presence in the community,” said Anderson.
Along First Avenue, LED lighting was installed to better brighten the area at night. The same lights were added near 15th Street and Nicollet Avenue.
Next to the Hennepin Avenue light rail station, a safety barrier was added along the sidewalk. But what you might not see so easily are the organizations working, trying to prevent problems involving the homeless or teenagers up to no good. MPD teamed up with Youth Link and the St. Stephens Shelter in addition to utilizing its Youth Coordinating Board outreach workers.
“It’s a buffer for us as police officers to be able to approach folks and say ‘Hey, do you need anything? What are you doing downtown?’ especially youth,” said Inspector Sullivan.
He added that officers will be assigned to monitor surveillance cameras downtown in order to catch criminals in the act, such as drug dealers.
“Then we’re able to make a positive arrest that are a lot more solid using that video evidence,” he said.