Extra police presence take 'bar beat' in downtown Mpls - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Extra police presence take 'bar beat' in downtown Mpls

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MINNEAPOLIS -

Police and deputies have made several arrests already, but at it's core, this is proactive policing. The goal is that you won't walk more than block without seeing someone in uniform -- roll call is here for what could be called the "bar beat."

Some Hennepin County deputies are getting assigned for their shifts -- shifts that used to end at 9 p.m. --- now ending at 3 a.m., an hour after bar closing time.

Violent crime in downtown Minneapolis is up 63 percent from this time last year. A trend both Minneapolis and Hennepin County are working to try and turn around.

"We are here to send a message to the very few people that come downtown to cause problems, that we are watching you and if we see you step out of line deputies will take action to address that behavior," said one such officer.

During the day-and after Twins games there is plenty of friendly foot traffic, but at night violence continues to be a problem. Just last week gunshots rang out in front of the Gay 90's bar hurting several people.

"If there is more supervision, if you will, obviously that's going to make for a safer environment," said a downtown regular. That's exactly what Minneapolis and Hennepin County are hoping for as well.

The foot patrols will work a beat from about Nicollet to First Avenue and Washington to 12th Street.

They want people to look at them, and in turn they are looking for anything out of the ordinary. But will extra patrols actually reduce crime? Time will tell.

The extra patrols will likely go all summer long. They've done this shift change in years past and they've had success with it.

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