MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Hennepin County Sheriff is taking action after three people were killed recently in downtown Minneapolis.

The department says its putting more deputies on the street to hopefully curb crime.

“It’s 10 years of really helping downtown thrive and succeed and be a good place for people to come and live and work and play, “ Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District, said.

The ambassadors to the city are responsible for not only helping residents and guests with directions, but being an extra set of eyes for law enforcement.

That feeling of safety is needed, especially since there have been three murders in downtown Minneapolis since May.

“I was elected and took an oath to protect and serve everybody in the county right now. Minneapolis needs our help, “ Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson says more deputies will join forces with the Minneapolis Police Department and Metro Transit officers in a show of force in downtown during hours violence typically happens.

“Tuesday through Friday right now, it’s 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., there are four deputies downtown. We’re going to increase that to at least 10. The 10 additional ones will be from 8 p.m. until 3 a.m.,” Hutchinson said.

The sheriff has some overtime money in his budget to cover the cost of the additional manpower.

Hutchinson says deputies will ride around the downtown corridor on ATVs as well as walk that beat in order to engage with people.

“We’ll be talking to the public; we’ll be passing out water if it’s hot. Again, our goal is not to just be down here to enforce laws. Our goal is to make people feel safe; give people on the streets resources,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson hopes those resources lead to jobs or educational opportunities, and less time and opportunity to be involved in illegal activity.

Reg Chapman

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