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The University should add periods to the list of legitimate excuses.
Opinion: Period predicament
Published November 27, 2023

Dinkytown Safe Streets Initiative: UMPD and MPD’s latest effort to reduce crime

MPD and UMPD have collaborated to provide overtime pay for officers to monitor the streets of Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes more frequently.
Image by Gabrielle Erenstein
Minneapolis police car in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Friday July 7, 2023.

The University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD) and Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) teamed up in response to safety concerns in Dinkytown for the Dinkytown Safe Streets Initiative to reduce crime through the summer and into the fall semester.

The initiative began June 9 with increased MPD and UMPD officers being paid overtime for more patrols and presence in the Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods. 

While UMPD officers typically only patrol the University’s campus, this initiative has them venturing into the nearby neighborhoods. The Minneapolis Park Police, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Patrol are also collaborating with MPD and UMPD for the initiative.

There is no official end date for the initiative, but it will continue through the summer and into the fall, according to University Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans. Owner of Dinkytown Raising Cane’s and President of the Dinkytown Business Alliance Kent Kramp said increased police presence will help deter crime in Dinkytown.

“More police presence and more focus on security is what Dinkytown needs and we continue to need it more and more,” Kramp said.

Kramp said he feels crime in Dinkytown is down since the initiative began, outside of the Fourth of July weekend.

While some are praising the increased police presence, others remain skeptical about the effectiveness of the initiative. The initiative has officers working after 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday for parking and traffic enforcement.

University student Jack Vogel said without systemic changes in Minneapolis, crime will continue, even with more officers.

“The police presence has only further cluttered the packed, narrow streets in Dinkytown,” Vogel said. “The only way to fundamentally stop crime is to fix what drives people to commit crime.”

Affordable housing, accessible education and jobs would be more effective in crime prevention than officers, Vogel said.

Assaults, property crime and thefts are down by more than 50% over the last month in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, according to MPD public information officer Garrett Parten.

University interim president Jeffrey Ettinger said in the July 12 Board of Regents meeting he is prioritizing safety by continuing UMPD overtime pay for monitoring Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes, hiring more officers and increasing on-campus security.

Kramp said he hopes increased police presence is not just for the summer and will be carried into the fall semester.

“As soon as the police presence goes down, then we’ll have issues again,” Kramp said. “I just ask that they continue to put resources here to keep it a safe neighborhood.”

Parten said as the school year begins, students can expect MPD to remain actively involved in Dinkytown.

With the anticipation of increased activity in the Dinkytown area associated with school coming back into session, move-in week, and fall college sporting events, MPD will work with all partners to evaluate and adjust plans for public safety needs,” Parten said.

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