More cops, more outreach are part of plans to improve Hennepin Avenue

Although violent crime downtown has fallen, drunkenness and catcalling has been on the rise.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Minneapolis community leaders including Mayor Betsy Hodges have revealed a new plan to tackle crime on Hennepin Avenue.

The famous downtown strip is a nightlife haven, and that brings with it the potential for violence, theft and public drunkenness.

But a new strategy released by the City on Thursday focuses on how to improve things during the daytime hours, highlighting the "livability issues" that impair the downtown experience for those living and visiting the neighborhood.

These include incidences of drunkenness and catcalling that according to the report are on the rise along Hennepin Avenue, even though the downtown crime rate on a whole has been falling – including violent crime.

The most visible change you can expect to see from the new plan is the extra beat cops Minneapolis PD is adding to "encourage positive interactions with residents, commuters and visitors." Metro Transit PD will also have more officers out and about in the area.

And to further improve safety and the atmosphere along the street, the following strategies will be rolled out:

  • Outreach workers from several organizations will be out on the street speaking with the homeless, young people and individuals "engaging in problematic behaviors."
  • The street scene along Hennepin Ave. will be "more active" via environmental design projects, "creative engagement at bus stops" and a return for the "Pianos on Parade" program – which you can read more about here.
  • Supporting efforts at the state level to give officers the power to enforce court orders restricting some convicted criminals from being in areas where they repeatedly offend – including downtown.

The plan is the result of several months of discussions between a whole host of city leaders, community groups and business representatives who are set on improving the downtown area and making it a more attractive place for people to live and visit.

This comes at a time when the Minneapolis Downtown Council wants to double the number of people living downtown to 70,000 by 2025, as the Star Tribune reported.

Among those involved is Steve Cramer, president and CEO of Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, which said real and perceived safety was the "top priority" of business owners in the community.

And Melvin Tennant, CEO of Meet Minneapolis, said it's important that the city maximizes the draw of the Hennepin Ave. theater and arts district, which he describes as one of the city's "best features."

"Making sure the area is safe and welcoming is vital to the wellbeing of our downtown," he said in a news release.

Next Up

Adam Thielen

Vikings place Adam Thielen on COVID-19/reserve list

Thielen is coming off a two-touchdown game against the Cowboys.

MCF Oak Park Heights

COVID-positive inmate at Oak Park Heights prison dies

He becomes the fourth prison inmate to die from the virus.

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 1.08.19 PM

2-ton smoker stolen from Twin Cities chef Thomas Boemer

Boemer is the chef behind restaurants including the popular Revival.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz says relief package is coming for Minnesota small businesses

Walz is prepared to call a special session and pass the package immediately.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz COVID-19 press conference Monday

Walz will be introducing a new app that helps Minnesotans track COVID-19 exposures.

Related

car-1579263_1280

15 more arrested as drag racing crackdowns continue in Hennepin Co.

Instances of street racing have been on the rise this year.

Son of Hennepin County Sheriff is facing child porn and solicitation charges

Ryan Stanek is accused of trying to arrange meetings for sex with 13- and 14-year-old girls.

Rally against Hennepin Co. Sheriff's involvement with N.D. pipeline

Activists rally against Hennepin County's involvement in the North Dakota pipeline protests.

Another restaurant fails on Hennepin Avenue corner

Prime 6 has abruptly closed, having only opened in February.

Hennepin County isn't happy about being put on Trump's immigration detainer list

Hennepin County appeared on the first list from Homeland Security that picks out law enforcement organizations not complying with federal immigration requests.

Now Nicollet Mall is done, Hennepin is next in line for a rebuild

The busy downtown street will be reconstruction over three years, per city plans.

Metro Transit to use undercover cops to stamp out light rail smoking

There has been an increase in complaints about it since the start of the year.