University of Minnesota takes action to tackle crime in Dinkytown

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MINNEAPOLIS – Residents of Marcy-Holmes are expressing concern as violent crime nearly doubled from 2020. The University of Minnesota has responded to the high rates by implementing more public safety measures in Dinkytown.

In May 2021, the number of crimes peaked at 129 property crimes and violent crimes in Marcy-Holmes, the majority being property crimes. Since then, the neighborhood’s total property crime and violent crime fell by 49 in August.

In June, the University announced that more police would be present and that more security cameras would be installed at Marcy-Holmes in response to a shooting in Dinkytown.

After additional security measures were taken, the number of crimes fell to a total of 80 violent and property crimes in August. Compared to previous years, property crime and violent crime increased from May to August in 2019 and 2020, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Garrett Parten, a public information officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, said additional security cameras can help reduce crime in the neighborhood.

“A camera never flashes and it records everything it points to,” Parten said. “So even if a crime does occur, it greatly helps us to solve the crime because the suspect, the description, the suspicious activity are all filmed.”

The University also announced longer-term changes for the region, including installing more blue light kiosks that alert emergency services when in use. The university has 30 blue light kiosks and 4,600 security cameras on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses.

Four new blue light kiosks have been installed on the perimeter of the East Rim campus and more will be installed in off-campus areas. If someone uses an on-campus kiosk, UMPD will receive the alert, but if someone uses an off-campus kiosk, MPD will receive the alert.

Kent Kramp, vice president of the Dinkytown Business Association and owner of Raising Cane’s in Dinkytown, said additional patrols in Dinkytown are important, but additional lighting would be helpful for the area.

“There are some things that neighborhoods need for safety, and good lighting is important and something that I have felt that Dinkytown has specifically lacked over the past two years,” Kramp said. “But if not, just increased presence, increased patrols, that’s the most useful thing they can do.”

Since June, the University has continued to implement policies that improve the safety of Dinkytown students, such as offering public safety courses for students and Rave, a virtual walking app that students can use to contact. the UMPD.

Myron Frans, senior vice president of finance and operations at the university, said safety training for people on campus is another important part of safety.

“I think we want people to be aware of their surroundings, you kind of have to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you make smart choices,” Frans said.

In an effort to deal with events that do not require the presence of the police, such as domestic disputes or mental health crises, the University has also hired a social worker and a community liaison officer.

Frans said the University hired them to meet the needs of people who live on and off campus.

“What we really want is to make sure that our surrounding communities and the people who live and work in those communities… we want to make sure that we understand their public safety needs and other issues,” said Frans.

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