University of Minnesota to make public safety changes after Dinkytown shooting

Students have mixed reactions to increased police presence near campus.

by Hanna Van Den Einde

The University of Minnesota announced public safety changes in an emailed response to a shooting in Dinkytown that left five people injured, three of whom were students.

The shooting occurred early in the morning on Saturday, June 19 near the corner of 14th Avenue Southeast and Fourth Street Southeast. The public safety changes include increased police presence and mobile cameras in Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes, while long-term changes include installing lighting and blue light kiosks.

None of the students were critically injured, but it left many students on edge. Regan Anderson, a student at the University, said the shooting and recent crime left her shocked and upset.

“I love living in Dinkytown and I love being on campus but I do sometimes think is it really worth it if I’m just gonna have to deal with this kind of stuff day in and day out,” Anderson said.

An increase in police officers has improved safety in Dinkytown in the past, according to an emailed statement by University Police Department Chief Matt Clark.

“Numbers [of police officers] will vary by shift, but there will be an increased presence of UMPD officers in Dinkytown for the foreseeable future,” Clark said. “An increased visible presence of law enforcement and ability to respond quickly to emergency calls traditionally helps improve safety.”

Andy Oien, a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), said that he was frustrated with the increase of police on campus. He said that SDS is holding a protest against the increase on Saturday, June 26.

“What I would like to see is the [University] work with the city of Minneapolis to try to get them to implement more programs that address the cause of this violence,” said Oien. “We’d prefer to see the U trying to go after the root causes of all this crime and violence.”

In the future, the University is looking at installing additional blue light emergency kiosks in Dinkytown. In case of an emergency, these kiosks connect students to campus police with the push of a button.

Anderson said adding more of these kiosks in Dinkytown would be helpful for students.

“I feel like just being able to physically see a light up blue thing that reads emergency, it’s like okay, that is clearly a place I can go to like get help,” Anderson said.

Victoria Epshteyn, a junior, said that after the recent crime in Dinkytown, she is looking forward to seeing these public safety changes implemented by the University.

“I feel like people were just taking advantage of the fact that there really wasn’t a police presence at all on our campus,” Epshteyn said.