Skip to main content

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

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

turtinen two harbors

MN mayor in hot water for hawking $400M underwater hotel plan

The city council called a special meeting to discuss the mayor's public comments.

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.

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.

car keys hand holding unsplash - crop

Hennepin attorney will 'ramp-up prosecution' of carjackings

Two prosecutors will be dedicated to auto theft cases, which have been on the rise.

Another restaurant fails on Hennepin Avenue corner

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

Metro Council to spend over $1M on protective barriers for bus drivers

There's been a rise in driver assaults in the Twin Cities this year.