St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has authorized more than $300,000 in funding for police overtime this summer, while the city pursues federal stimulus money to hire more officers.
The increased police hours will combat the annual increase in crime during the warmer months, a spokesperson for Mayor Coleman said.
About 3,000 hours of overtime will be provided for the city's gang unit, registered sex offender and predatory offender tracking, youth curfew enforcement, targeted auto theft investigations, DWI and traffic enforcement, organized identify theft and forgery-related crime investigations, and narcotics and drug trafficking policing.
"Our focus today is to do everything we can do to suppress and prevent crime before it becomes a problem," Police Chief John Harrington said in a statement. "I am confident we can use this funding to target problem areas to make our safe city even safer."
The mayor and the city council have authorized the police department to maintain a force of 630 officers. The department remains 42 officers short due to retirement and attrition.