Minneapolis police, along with officers from 20 other law enforcement agencies, are on duty for the events surrounding Tuesday's All-Star Game. They are working to keep fans safe and serve as ambassadors to visitors in town this week.
“A lot of [fans] are from out of state and have never been here before so we’re trying to be very helpful and help them out,” Washington County Sheriff’s Office Commander Cheri Dexter told WCCO.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder told the Star Tribune that "A lot of it's customer service stuff, being visible, being present, being ambassadors."
Along with the Minneapolis police department, St. Paul police, Rogers police, Edina police, the FBI, state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Secret Service, State Patrol, Homeland Security, and officials from Washington and Hennepin Counties are all pitching in to help patrol the streets, assist with crowd control and traffic flow, according to reports.
Minneapolis police commander Scott Gerlicher told KARE 11 that officers are patrolling streets primarily on foot, but there are some officers on bicycles, horses and in squad cars.
"We want a high uniform presence in downtown area to create a safe and welcoming image for downtown Minneapolis. We have access to our complete public safety camera system, over 200 cameras, in addition to portable camera trailers," Gerlicher told KARE 11.
“We’ve actually had some parents come up to us and just thank us for what we’re doing,” Washington County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Matt Wieland told WCCO. “Saying they’ve never felt safer.”
More than 30 high level officers at Minneapolis command post will monitor cameras, crews on the ground and coordinate safety logistics for the events leading up to Tuesday's All-Star Game at Target Field, KARE 11 says.
Officials note that the strategy for this event took six months of planning, and it's similar to those used in other major events, like President Barack Obama's recent visit.
Gerlicher told the Star Tribune Sunday there haven't been any major incidents, just some ticket scalpers, drunken partiers and people trying to sell counterfeit merchandise.