Residents of St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood will gather Thursday to discuss possible solutions to a spate of youth violence on the city's east side.
The St. Paul Police department deployed 30 additional officers to patrol the area last month in response to a deadly shooting and a near-fatal beating. But those officers have been scaled back now that the summer is coming to an end.
Neighborhood leaders say most residents welcomed the extra patrols.
Senior Commander Joe Neuberger says the so-called "Operation Blue Wave" produced some positive results.
"Success is a difficult label to put on it," he said. "We certainly have reduced the group crime and group threats. We've gotten very few calls [about group crimes] since we really kicked the program off in mid-August. From that regard, I think it's a success."
Neuberger said since the extra patrols began, there was just one violent street brawl reported on the east side. That incident involved dozens of girls who were fighting outside of a McDonald's.
The police program aimed to link residents with resources and programs that could help prevent violence from happening in the first place. Neuberger said more work needs to be done on that front.
He also noted that the response to the police effort received a mixed report on social media.
"The majority like it, but there's a few who are going, 'I had a bad experience,'" Neuberger said. "Well, you might have, but how about letting me know about it instead of putting it on Facebook and we can look into it? If you've got a complaint about how we're doing or about an individual officer, let me know and we will conduct an investigation and see what happened."