Mayor Rybak Applauds Metro Transit Police Plan
Collaboration with City Police Aims to Improve Safety on Buses and at Bus Stops
May 3, 2007 (MINNEAPOLIS) -- Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak applauded Metro Transit’s announcement today of a $2.4 million plan to improve security on transit buses with greater police presence, broadened partnerships with local police, retrofitting buses with enhanced multi-camera digital recording systems, and increasing community outreach efforts.
"As the key player responsible for keeping our buses safe, Metro Transit’s ability to improve bus security is urgently needed," Mayor Rybak said. "At the same time, Minneapolis is boosting its efforts to make sure bus stops in Minneapolis are safe and respectful. Working together with Metro Transit, we want people to feel safe and respected everywhere in Minneapolis."
Metro Transit’s enhanced safety plan comes as the City of Minneapolis is boosting its efforts to keep downtown and areas around bus stops safe. Yesterday the City Council’s Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee unanimously approved the Mayor’s proposal to add $500,000 to the Minneapolis Police Department to strengthen City police patrols downtown, especially around bus stops. The Committee also approved an additional $250,000 to strengthen neighborhood safety plans in crime hot spots outside downtown.
Business leaders also supported the improved efforts. "The Minneapolis Downtown Council is very grateful for the leadership initiative this represents," Downtown Council President/CEO Sam Grabarski said. "Metro Transit’s plans, dovetailed with the plans announced by City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials, are all valuable steps in the right direction for the safety of downtown Minneapolis, and the communities surrounding us."
"Because of our aggressive crime-fighting efforts, crime is falling and we want to maintain that trend into the summer months," Mayor Rybak added. "Along with the at least fifteen new officers we have already secured for downtown, we believe that additional funding for targeted police overtime will allow us maintain high police presence and visibility.
"I just left the downtown’s police command, where I told our officers the good news that Metro Transit is putting more resources on the bus to enhance our work to improve safety at bus stops. Our officers know they have my backing to deliver the strong enforcement necessary to have every resident get a safe, comfortable experience downtown and on the buses," Rybak added.
"We have already added seven officers to downtown’s First Precinct and we will be adding at least eight more by this summer," Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said. "We are also increasing the number of full-time Mounted Patrol by four officers, for a total of six full-time and eighteen part-time mounted officers. This special patrol helps significantly with crowd control and is a very obvious officer presence because you can see a mounted officer a block away."
"Increased police patrols will allow us to have a constant presence near problematic bus stops and around Block E," First Precinct Commander Janee Harteau said. "Minneapolis police will work closely with Metro Transit police to provide a strong presence at those bus stops."
Published May. 3, 2007