Crime, Law and Justice

Metro Transit reports sharp crime drop at troubled light rail station

A woman talks to the press
Metro Transit General Manager Lesley Kandaras speaks to reporters about transit safety at the Lake St. light rail station in Minneapolis on Tuesday alongside Metro Transit Police Chief Ernest Morales III.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Metro Transit officials said crime is down sharply at the Lake Street light rail station in Minneapolis amid an increased security presence.

The transit agency said reported crime dropped 58 percent between the first and second quarters of the year from 528 incidents to 221.

After a news conference Tuesday outside the station, Lesley Kandaras, the agency's new general manager, credited proactive patrolling, both by private security staff and transit police.

“Certainly as a rider, I've seen some uncomfortable things, and I've really been encouraged once we've had supplemental security here,” Kandaras said. “It seems to be deterring a lot of that behavior that just makes it feel uncomfortable to be here.”

In March, the Metropolitan Council, which operates Metro Transit, hired Allied Universal Security to patrol a half dozen trouble spots amid a steady rise in nuisance behavior and violent crime.

In February, two men assaulted a transgender woman at Lake Street Station. Central Station in downtown St. Paul was the site of a double homicide in December.

Metro Transit says officers have recorded more than 500 “extra patrol hours” in and around Lake Street Station.

“Our officers are spending a lot of time here, not only visibly present at the station, but riding the trains,” Metro Transit Police Chief Ernest Morales III said.

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