Residents in certain Minneapolis neighborhoods may be seeing a lot more of the police this summer, as the Minneapolis police chief recently announced the city’s plan to increase the police presence. The two areas that will be most affected will be the North Side and the Warehouse District. This move has not been entirely embraced, however.
Some Minneapolis residents are concerned by the increased police presence. For some people, there is a lack of trust of police. Maybe they have seen the police take too many people in on criminal charges, only to have them returned home because they were wrongfully arrested. Others see the police as a harassment.
One Minneapolis resident told the Star Tribune of police officers sitting outside her home during a child’s birthday party. Ask other people in Minneapolis and they would likely have other stories of police officers incorrectly using or abusing their powers. Imagine living in the North Side and being stopped just for “looking like” a criminal.
The police chief is hoping that this extra police presence will help to combat crime, but will also build trust between residents and the police force. It remains to be seen whether this will have the desired effect or will only serve to increase residents frustration with the police. As more police start walking through neighborhoods or riding their horses, it may cause more irritation or could even lead to serious misunderstandings and wrongful arrests. If that happens, the police chief will have considerable work to do to repair tensions with the community.
Source: Star Tribune, “Mpls. police say new North Side beat is part of summer strategy,” Matt McKinney, May 21, 2013