Minneapolis police plan extra patrols downtown during Twins playoff push | KSTP.com

Minneapolis police plan extra patrols downtown during Twins playoff push

Updated: September 17, 2019 06:23 PM

More and more baseball fans will make their way to downtown Minneapolis as the Twins make a run at the postseason, leading police to continue their heightened patrols after a recent late summer robbery spree.

"I'll assure you it will continue,” said Minneapolis Police Spokesman John Elder. “We need to make sure this behavior doesn't return, it's unacceptable in any stretch of the imagination."

Earlier this week, the Hennepin County Attorney’s office announced arrests of 18 people, ranging in age from 15 to 27 years old, who are charged with various robberies in downtown Minneapolis last month.

"It's saddening to see kids at these ages making these decisions," Elder said.

Police said robbers picked people who were an “easy target” — someone intoxicated, alone, looking at a cellphone at the time — in downtown between Third and Sixth streets, and Hennepin to Second Avenue between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

"It's great that they did these arrests, it's great they got this robbery ring, it shows our city council need to get behind our police department and getting at street crime," said Joe Tamburino, chairperson of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association.

Robbery incidents in downtown Minneapolis result in 20 arrests, 18 charges

Tamburino represents a group of about 1,000 downtown residents. The group met Monday night and discussed the spike in robberies over the late summer.

Minneapolis police said they didn't have enough officers in the first precinct for the extra patrols, so they had to bring in extra community response teams from other stations, as robberies saw a 56% increase downtown.

"We were unable to run these details without full cooperation of the other precincts and sending their teams," said Elder.

Minneapolis police were joined by other law enforcement agencies for the sting operation.

During August, police said 23 robberies were reported in the first precinct downtown.

Tamburino said the robbery spike should catch the city's attention to hire more officers downtown.

"As soon as you address that problem, it's going to be better in this part of town," said Tamburino.

Mayor Jacob Frey proposed adding 14 officers to the force citywide, but said publically he would like to add more, but is unsure it would pass the council’s approval.

The city council continues to review Frey’s budget request, and will make a decision on extra officers by the year's end.

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Eric Chaloux

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