St. Paul Police called to downtown apartment building 6 times in 15 days, following nearly a call a day in 2023

Concerns over violence at St. Paul apartment building

Concerns over violence at St. Paul apartment building

The number of police calls to one downtown St. Paul apartment building, as of Tuesday, has been high for over a year.

Officers were called to the Press House Apartments on Cedar Street between 4th and 5th Streets East 6 times in the first 15 days of the new year.

The latest incident was on Monday. Officers first responded to 5th and Cedar Streets around 4:00 p.m. to find a man who had been shot. The shooting isn’t considered a call for service to the building. The sixth call of 2024 happened later that night when officers returned with a warrant, this time going into the apartment building where they arrested a 20-year-old man in relation to the earlier shooting. Whether he lived there or “just went there” is unknown, a spokesperson said on Tuesday morning.

Police call logs showed the first call this year, which was for a disturbance, came in on Jan. 1.

“It doesn’t mean it’s a critical situation every time that police respond, because we respond to several things that don’t require a large police presence,” explained St. Paul Police District Chief Jesse Mollner.

The police department also provided data for the entirety of 2023 which showed that out the 294 calls to the building last year, most were for non-violent incidents. The highest category of calls at 58 were for disorderly conduct.

That said, as police responded nearly once a day last year, some who live in the building aren’t feeling safe, including a few people who spoke with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS after a mid-November homicide.

“And that’s why we’ve taken it so seriously,” Mollner said, referring to residents, not just in the one building, but also those living nearby.

There are other factors influencing the high police response, according to Mollner, primarily including the fact that it is a busy block where the city’s skyway system converges next to the Metro Transit Central Station at 5th and Cedar Streets.

“[It} happens to be the most active transit location in the entire city,” Mollner said.

Efforts have been underway to turn the statistics around, law enforcement agencies report. St. Paul Police has upped patrols in the nearby skyway Mollner said, adding that residents have remarked to officers about improvement in their feelings of safety recently.

Metro Transit also closed access to the skyway right at Central Station, as confirmed by St. Paul Police.

In October, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office moved a training annex right inside the Press House for two purposes, according to public information officer Steve Linders on Tuesday.

“The first is that it gives us a unique space in the heart of the county to hold trainings. The second is that it increases law enforcement presence in the area, which, as you know, has had its challenges,” he said.

Mollner also said that he was able to work with St. Paul Public Works Director Sean Kershaw to put “no parking” hoods over parking meters along that block.

“The owner of the building, said, ‘Great, that actually worked. Awesome.’ The tenants who responded back to us said that little measure changed ‘a lot of things for us,'” Mollner remarked.

The Press House did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also requested call log data for the same time frame related to Central Station on Tuesday, and the Metro Transit Police Department did not provide it.

Formal charges remain “under review” against the man who was arrested in connection to Monday’s late afternoon shooting, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office at close of business on Tuesday.