June 2, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Minneapolis Police Department is proud to announce the return of the SafeZone patrol collaboration between law enforcement officers, community organizations and members of the downtown business community.
The Joint Beats initiative will feature collaboration between the Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police Department in a concerted effort to provide more visibility and enhanced safety throughout downtown. Those who live, work and visit the downtown area will see officers, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District Ambassadors, Probation Officers, youth outreach workers and volunteers, and homeless street outreach teams walking the beats with greater regularity to provide enhanced safety throughout the downtown community. The initiative started on Memorial Day Weekend and continues through Labor Day weekend.
“Police presence, visibility, and aggressive enforcement are keys to the prevention of crime and making sure people feel safe. The MPD is committed to allocating adequate resources to address the increase in people and activity we see every summer in our Downtown area. We also remain committed to enforcing laws and enhancing existing partnerships with business leaders, outreach workers and law enforcement partners,” Chief Janee Harteau said.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department and Metro Transit Police Department will be dedicating a number of officers to this directed patrol effort focused on additional crime prevention, engagement and enforcement while increasing uniform presence and maintaining and establishing contact with private security.
“This summer we have seen an increase in gun violence that cannot be tolerated. SafeZone patrols utilize a partnership between multiple law enforcement agencies to put more officers on the street where they are needed most. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Minneapolis Police Department whenever possible, to ensure our communities are safe for everyone,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
In addition to law enforcement officers, business leaders and outreach volunteers will play a crucial role in keeping our downtown safe and vibrant. The Minneapolis SafeZone Collaborative Advisory Committee is comprised of downtown business members, residents, law enforcement and members of the public sector. The Minneapolis SafeZone Collaborative works closely with outreach teams including St. Stephen’s Street Outreach, Youth Coordinating Board and YouthLINK to ensure resources are provided for those in need throughout our downtown area—all of which coincide with the Joint Beats’ efforts to create a safe and vibrant downtown.
“Joint Beats is an excellent initiative that shows our downtown community’s cooperative spirit at its best,” said Steve Cramer, President & CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District. “Bringing law enforcement together in unison to help provide enhanced safety and visibility goes a long way toward keeping downtown thriving, and our supporting outreach organizations do a great job adding resources that accentuate the Joint Beats’ goals.”
The collaborative SafeZone patrols were first implemented in 2005. The extra law enforcement officers will be on the beat primarily during afternoon and evening hours.