Gov. Tim Walz said the increased presence of state law enforcement in the Twin Cities is here to stay until further notice.
The governor was joined by Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington and officers from different agencies in the state during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The decision to bolster law enforcement – in the form of the State Patrol and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension – was made in July, days after people were launching fireworks at others, police, cars and residential buildings in the downtown Minneapolis area. Street racing also saw an uptick in frequency, but Walz said many crimes have gone down since he mobilized an increased effort from police.
Metro Transit Patrol Operations Capt. Richard Raymond added that Metro Transit Police will continue to focus on increased security at transit stations, on trains and buses, and more bike patrols on bus routes for the time being.
The Minneapolis Police Department released a report this week that shows violent crime is up significantly compared to statistics in 2019 – as is the case in most places across the country – but that it is starting to plateau when compared to data from 2021.
"This unprecedented force will remain here, and we will continue to see the results that we have been seeing, and we will continue to push those numbers down," the governor said.
Walz reassured Minnesotans, saying that's it's safe to be out and about enjoying activities in the Twin Cities metro area. He mentioned how this increased effort is only a short-term solution, going as far to suggest that younger people should look into careers in law enforcement and community aid efforts.
Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said traffic deaths have gone down compared to last year on state highways, to which he commended state troopers for their efforts.
“Last year was a horrific year across the country and in Minnesota, and we have changed that trajectory and made the roads safer. That doesn’t mean we’re perfect, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we need to improve but my simple message is that it’s working,” Langer said.