Neighborhoods around the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus will see more police officers and the installation of additional security cameras following a weekend shooting – the latest in a string of violent crimes in the area of late.
University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, in a message to students, staff and faculty Monday, said she shares the "frustration and concern over the significant increase in crime" and "how it has impacted our campus community." In the letter she referenced the early Saturday shooting near a busy Dinkytown intersection that left five people injured, three of whom are students at the university.
But this is only the most recent incident of concern, with the Office for Off-Campus Living recently highlighting 23 incidents of aggravated assault or robbery since May 18 in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. There was also the fatal shooting of a teen in Dinkytown in late March, and a spate of robberies and thefts in Dinkytown and Stadium Village.
"As your President – and also as the mother of a college student—I want you to know that the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors is the highest priority for me," Gabel wrote.
Following this weekend's shooting, Gabel said the university has been working with the Minneapolis Police Department to help address the levels of crime. Effective immediately, Gabel wrote, Minneapolis police officers will be "much more present and visible" during late-night hours in these areas. There will also be more University of Minnesota police officers assigned (via overtime) to the Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods.
For more surveillance, both the Minneapolis and university police departments will be installing "mobile cameras" in both Dinkytown and the "immediate areas."
In addition to these immediate changes, Gabel noted enhanced safety measures to come, including:
- Additional bicycle and vehicle patrols in Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes
- An analysis on where, strategically, to install even more cameras for real-time monitoring
- The potential installation of more “Blue Light” emergency kiosks in Dinkytown
- A plan to seek additional street lighting in Dinkytown
- The possible formation of a "dedicated safety ambassador program to provide a visible, on-the-street presence in Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes"
While calling Minneapolis an "exceptional city" with many benefits and opportunities, Gabel noted everyone "must be safe to live, learn, work, and serve."
The five people shot early Saturday suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to police. The shooter fled before police were on the scene.