In the wake of recent violence, Minneapolis city leaders announced more police officers will be put in crime-plagued areas of the city through Labor Day, in an attempt to curb the spike in crime.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau publicized the plan Wednesday. It will pay eight police officers and one supervisor overtime to patrol troublesome areas in both north and south Minneapolis.
The plan is to add four officers and one more supervisor in north Minneapolis, along with four more officers in south Minneapolis from 6 p.m.-4 a.m., starting Friday and continuing through Labor Day, KARE 11 reports. They'll focus on guns on the north side and robberies on the south side, according to the Minneapolis Police Department Facebook page.
"The goal for us is really to disrupt the criminal environment in these neighborhoods," Harteau said at a news conference Wednesday, KSTP reports.
The Star Tribune notes violent crimes citywide have risen 3.4 percent so far this year.
KSTP says crime data shows violent crimes are up 13 percent in south Minneapolis, while violent crimes have increased 3 percent in north Minneapolis so far this year, noting there have been 53 percent more violent crime incidents in north Minneapolis compared to the south since Memorial Day.
In the last few weeks, the city increased bike and foot patrol officers, and also doubled shot-spotter coverage in north Minneapolis, FOX 9 says. Harteau said Wednesday their presence is working – violent crime has dropped citywide 26 percent in the past two weeks, the Star Tribune notes.
Adding more officers is expected to cost up to $300,000, according to reports.
“Additional resources right now in these parts of the city will help create a safer city for everyone,” Hodges said, according to WCCO. “I have a responsibility for public safety in the city of Minneapolis. I am ensuring the police department has the resources they need to achieve our public safety goals.”
Hodges says she believes most of the overtime costs can be covered in the current budget, and if it can't, contingency funds will cover the remainder, KSTP reports.
The Minneapolis Police Department has been short on officers this summer, due largely to the number of recent retirements.
The city does have new officers in training, but they won't join the force for a few more weeks – 26 new officers will join the department next month, and an additional 27 new officers are expected go on duty in September, the Star Tribune reports.