November 13, 2018 07:11 PM
When the temperatures drop, crimes like theft and drug deals begin to rise inside parking garages, according to those in charge of operating Minneapolis' 16 ramps.
But not this year.
"These are the lowest numbers we've seen as far as crimes go within the ramps in the last 30 years," said Parking System Manager, Tim Drew.
In the 28 locations tracked by the Minneapolis Municipal Parking System, crime is down 30 percent in 2018 compared to this time a year ago. The parking system also tracks individual crimes in its lots and ramps. Below are three specific crime categories and how much that particular crime has dropped in 2018 versus 2017.
At each ramp, all but one entrance now locks at midnight so those parked in the ramp must show proof of parking to a guard stationed at the door before they head to their car.
Upgrades to the intercom system allow drivers to call for an off-duty officer or guard to escort them to their vehicle.
"We're spending some extra money on off-duty police officers and security personnel to increase that staff," said Drew.
It's hard to say exactly how much those extra personnel costs will be over time, but this year the ramp spent an extra $700,000 on additional guards and off-duty police. That number includes the extra staff hired during the Super Bowl last February.
1,400 new cameras are currently being installed to replace the 30-year-old cameras in the ramps.
"A lot of it was real fuzzy images where you couldn't see faces, get descriptions, see license plates," said Drew of the equipment currently being replaced.
Only five percent of those cameras could record.
Now, all 1,400 cameras record and they're capturing images in HD, in color and with the ability to zoom in for better detail.
"These new ones are just so small but they do twice as much as what the old ones used to do," said Drew of the new cameras.
Nearly 3,000 LED lights have also been installed at ramps and lots throughout the city bringing the 20,000 parking spots the city is looking after out of the shadows and directly in the spotlight.
The $2.3 million dollars worth of capital safety upgrades is being paid for with ramp parking fees.
If anyone has any tips on crimes committed in these parking ramps or elsewhere, send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Updated: November 13, 2018 07:11 PM
Created: November 13, 2018 04:53 PM
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