MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With summer right around the corner, there’s a lot more going on in downtown Minneapolis.
That’s why Twin Cities law enforcement are teaming up to keep the state’s largest city safe.
The Joint Beats program will put more law enforcement on the streets in downtown Minneapolis for the summer months. It’s a collaborative effort involving Minneapolis Police, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police.
Minneapolis police arrested a 39-year old woman on Sunday in connection with a fatal stabbing that happened Saturday night in downtown. It’s just one example of the type of crimes law enforcement hope to prevent with the return of an annual program.
“From the smallest things of things going on in parking ramps, to fights, to stabbings, shootings — every level of crime down here our officers can respond to,” said Lt. Mike Jerde of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
Now in its 15th year, the program adds additional officers to patrol the first precinct. Jacob Toledo, who operates several restaurants and bars in the downtown area, says he believes in the program.
“We are noticing an increase in the number of people that are coming downtown, in the number of people that are visiting our establishments,” Toledo said. “I think that’s something we’re all supportive as business owners.”
There were 253 violent crimes in downtown Minneapolis during the summer months last year, the lowest since 2015. Lt. Jerde says it’s important that people working in and visiting downtown also stay involved to help cut down on crime.
“It just comes down to the old phrase of, ‘See something, say something,'” said Lt. Jerde.
The Minneapolis Downtown Council, along with the Downtown Improvement District are also involved in the collaboration.
The Joint Beats program officially kicked off on Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day.