Skip to main content

University seeks police backup to keep students, campus safe

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

New efforts have been announced in an effort to keep students safe in the midst of a crime wave on and around the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reports that officials at the university are "taking the unusual step" of asking the city to send more Minneapolis police to the campus area to aid and assist the 50 officers on the University of Minnesota Police Dept. In a public safety update to students Tuesday, Pam Wheelock, vice president of university services, said that she’s asked Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson to send additional police patrols to join Hennepin County sheriff’s deputies, who were assigned to provide "concentrated patrols" in the area two weeks ago.

The Minnesota Daily reports that as of Tuesday night, a student petition seeking additional patrols had gathered 3,460 signatures. The petition says the crime wave interferes with students’ ability to learn, noting some students have even considered transferring. The petition will go to University President Eric Kaler, University police, Minneapolis police and state legislators.

A legislative hearing on campus safety will be held next week.

A composite sketch of a suspect who posed as a police officer and may be responsible for two sexual assaults is expected soon. Minneapolis Police will hold a public safety walk with neighborhood residents on Friday at Van Cleve Park, the site of the October rape of a U student.

Kaler and Wheelock have met with mayor-elect Betsy Hodges to discuss the University’s need for additional city resources. Wheelock and University police Chief Greg Hestness have also met with Minneapolis police Chief Janée Harteau. A task force comprised of University faculty, staff and students formed nearly two weeks ago to evaluate campus safety and address areas that need improving, like buildings’ lighting.

The campus ride service Gopher Chauffeur recently expanded its fleet and days of service.

The crime rate is not significantly higher than it has been in the past few years, but the circumstances of the incidents have set the U community on edge. The campus area typically sees an uptick in crime every fall, but this year has also brought armed and violent robberies and sexual assaults.

Twenty-five of the 28 robberies reported since August occurred in neighborhoods surrounding the sprawling campus.

Next Up

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.

monkeypox

Minnesota health officials warn monkeypox cases could grow rapidly

The state has so far confirmed only six cases of monkeypox virus.

291734046_502006195017388_4346404407323115820_n

Bodies of woman, three young children recovered from Vadnais Lake

Authorities say the bodies recovered were those of two boys, one girl and their mother.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.

image

Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Related