Police put force on minor crimes

More visual presence of patrol cars likely would convince criminals to think again.

As many students have probably noticed, the police force is all too present about campus on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The University Police Department often calls on the Minneapolis Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol to help corral unruly underage drinkers out of house parties. Although keeping the neighborhoods surrounding campus under control on the weekends is important, more devastating crimes such as shootings and robberies within the metro area should be given at least as much care and concern.

It isn’t as if police don’t care as much about deterring these crimes. However, the thought of an Operation NightCAP to react to assaults, robberies and shootings seems slightly more appropriate than a brigade of police patrolling the same neighborhoods all night long just waiting, listening for a wild game of flippy cup.

University police’s reaction to the recent assault of Michael Murphy and Gary Antilla, both University students, is quite disheartening. According to a friend of the two students who witnessed the assault, the police “didn’t take it very seriously.”

As any student knows who has ever gotten a ticket at a party or knows the stories of someone who has, police definitely take underage drinking and smart talk seriously. Not that they shouldn’t, but that isn’t the point.

The University’s police department needs to rethink its priorities when it comes to campus crime. Surely, robberies and assaults should come ahead of first-years stumbling back to their dorms.

While we are not asking police to leave campus parties alone and to forget about Operation NightCAP, we are asking police to step up in making the University area a more safe community.

Also, with crime in Minneapolis at an all-time high, maybe it is time for a bigger budget for police. More money would allow more patrollers at any given time.

Police cannot prevent shootings, robberies and assaults by standing as human shields in front of the victims, but a greater visual presence of patrol cars likely would convince many criminals to think again.