Mayor Hodges, Business Community Partners Address Downtown Safety

February 2, 2017 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jonathan Weinhagen gathered key stakeholders several days ago, including Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, senior Minneapolis Police Department staff, and representatives from Hennepin County, along with downtown business community leaders, to develop a plan to address and improve behavior and the daytime experience in downtown starting April 1, 2017.  “We need to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and everyone feels safe,” said Mayor Hodges. “This requires multiple interventions in addition to law enforcement, including 21st-century policing and more engagement from the community.”

The meeting recognized current efforts, including the Mayor’s addition of police officers and a host of solutions that are in various stages of planning and implementation through the Downtown Improvement District. It also served as a launch pad for new ideas and further coordination among the various stakeholders and partners.  “As we celebrate unprecedented levels of public and private investments in the City of Minneapolis, reflected by a fifth straight year of building permits exceeding $1 billion, we must double down on our efforts to ensure that every resident, employee and visitor has a positive experience when visiting downtown,” said Chamber President and CEO Jonathan Weinhagen. “We recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There is a role for law enforcement. There is a role for the courts. There is a role for our social-service agencies. And there is certainly a role for the corporate community.”

In the coming weeks, this group will continue to develop a plan that is ready for implementation as spring approaches. “Downtown Minneapolis has long benefitted from exceptional collaboration among government, business, and nonprofits: from the Downtown Improvement District to the Nicollet Mall renovation and the Downtown East Commons, our downtown partners have a long history of coming together to meet our challenges and serve the common good. We are building on that history to create a 21st-century, 24-hour downtown that is safe and welcoming to all.”

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Published Feb 2, 2017