On Campus Blog

Minneapolis police to add seven officers to patrol U of M neighborhoods

The University of Minnesota and Minneapolis police are taking more steps that they say will increase safety in the neighborhoods around the Twin Cities campus.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said Tuesday the department is beefing up its presence around the University of Minnesota.

The move comes after a fall semester that saw an uptick in the number of robberies in the area. Harteau told a safety forum at the U that the department is adding officers to the 2nd Precinct, which includes the Como, Prospect Park and Marcy-Homes neighborhoods.

"Historically, 2nd Precinct used to be a slower place. But things ebb and flow, and as the environment changes and the businesses thrive, we have to do that whole look across the city," Harteau said.

Inspector Kathy Waite, Minneapolis 2nd Precinct, said seven additional officers will patrol the neighborhoods in the coming months. Six officers start their new assignments in early February. U of M President Eric Kaler applauded this commitment, noting that currently 30 percent of the UMPD’s calls are off campus.

For his part, Kaler said the U could do more to foster goodwill.  He told the forum audience of city, state and law-enforcement officials that he wants to "reset" some of the relationships the U has with them.

"I have heard stories about the university not always being the best partner, and I am committed to doing better," Kaler said.

A university spokesman said that in the past, the U has often been fiercely independent in matters such as the light rail project.