University provides funding for MPD stadium reinforcement

The money will cover security in nearby neighborhoods on game day.

Yasin Mohamud

In attempts to mitigate neighborhood disruptions from TCF Bank Stadium, the University of Minnesota is paying Minneapolis police to provide extra coverage for the second consecutive year.

The funding this year, $74,000, is approximately a quarter less than the Enhanced Police Coverage funding granted last year, a reduction University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner attributed to internal budget cuts.

Previously, the Minneapolis Police Department aided University police by providing enhanced enforcement at “party houses” Friday and Saturday nights, but the new coverage will target the neighborhoods around campus and will also add extra security for the stadium.

The University is providing $60,000 for around campus neighborhoods and another $14,200 for extra security during football games at the stadium.

The portion of the funds that will go to the stadium will ensure that the neighborhoods are properly patrolled during game-day weekends, said James De Sota, Southeast Como Improvement Association director.

The funds, part of the stadium funding bill budget, are intended “to help mitigate the impacts of the games on the neighborhoods,” University spokesman Dan Wolter said.

The $14,200 is what University Athletics pays for the Minneapolis Police Department’s resources during football games, including the bomb squad and Canine Unit, Wolter said.

De Sota is a supporter of the project and was pleased that the funds were available for a second year.

“The University wants to make sure they try and keep the impact that the stadium has on surrounding neighborhoods as minimal as possible,” De Sota said. “It was a big help last year, and even though the funds are not as great as last year, it will still make a big difference.”

Ward 2 City Councilmember Cam Gordon is another advocate for the project and said Minneapolis police presence may make all the difference.

“The cooperation we have received from the University has been great,” Gordon said.

Funding for EPC is a step in the right direction to ensure the neighborhoods are properly covered during game-day weekends, Miner said.

“The main benefit of having the aid of the Minneapolis Police Department is that we are able to get ahead of the problem areas before things deteriorate,” he said. “If there are enough resources to check on problems during the day, then things are far less likely to escalate later.”

The aid will likely result in some overtime for Minneapolis police officers, but it will not be a significant amount, Miner said.