Daytime officer assigned to Dinkytown after crime-ridden July

ItâÄôs been 16 years since Dave Cambell had a day job, but thatâÄôs not to say he hasnâÄôt been working. Until two weeks ago, Officer Cambell worked the âÄúdog watchâÄù as a late-night patrolman for the Minneapolis Police DepartmentâÄôs 2nd and 4th precincts. Now he is a 9-to-5 beat cop in Dinkytown. And although more criminal activity occurs at night, he is excited to function like the rest of society. âÄúI actually sleep like a regular person,âÄù he said. Cambell started patrolling after July. A month that registered the most crimes the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood has seen since at least 2000, and the second-most crimes registered in June since 2002. When the daytime Dinkytown beat officer retired last year he took the job with him. The position reopened this July when the Minneapolis 2nd precinct received a contract for another beat position in higher crime areas. Currently Dinkytown has three beat cops âÄî Cambell and two officers that split a shift from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m. This is a stark contrast from the University Police Department system, which doesnâÄôt have a single beat officer. Since the University only has 29 patrol officers, including its bike patrol, no officer is given a specific beat, Lt. Chuck Miner said. Instead, one supervisor monitors squads that patrol three zones: The St. Paul campus, the East Bank north of Washington Avenue and the East Bank south of Washington Avenue, including the West Bank. Response to the new beat On Aug. 22 the House of Hanson was robbed at gun point for the first time in its 75-year history, said owner Laurel Bauer. Since then, a beat officer spotted a panhandler-turned-thief that Bauer âÄúflaggedâÄù âÄî she told the police to keep him out of her store. When the individual walked into the grocery, an officer kicked him out before Bauer even called 911. Other stores have problems as well. There have been more incidents of shoplifting this year at Dinkytown Wine and Spirits than ever before, something manager Dan Erickson said he attributes to the poor economy and to the presence of vagrants and aggressive panhandlers. âÄúI wouldnâÄôt mind if we have a police car parked in the lot,âÄù he said. Potential criminals are less likely to try anything with a constant police presence, Erickson said. Other business owners laud daytime police presence in Dinkytown, noting that the beat officers have come by and made themselves known by handing out business cards, checking up on open stores and dealing with aggressive panhandlers. Though he has never experienced aggressive panhandling, Adam Anderson , a journalism senior and Dinkytown resident, said police are needed to patrol âÄúraging partiersâÄù at night and guard against daytime theft. âÄúOur house has been robbed twice or three times in broad daylight,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúThere should definitely be day and nighttime patrol.âÄù