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Mpls. Police Chief Urges Officers To Be Cautious After Baton Rouge Attack

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minneapolis Police Chief Janée Harteau called the attack in Baton Rouge, "an attack on all officers and an attack on our country," and told officers to stay safe in the field.

In an department-wide email Sunday afternoon, Chief Harteau said there would no longer be any squad cars with less than two people on patrol.

"It is always important but now it is critical that each of you be on high alert and be extremely vigilant. Protect each other!" she said in the email.

She also urged officers to remember to wear bullet-proof vests while on duty.

"We have no intel to lead us to believe there is a direct threat to Minneapolis but we will not wait," Harteau said in the email. "You are supported by this community, but we do not know who these suspects are or where they are coming from."

"I wouldn't say that we're afraid, because we signed up to do this job, and it's not an easy job to do," said Sgt. Catherine Michal, who has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 23 years. "But we want to do it, and we want to do it well, but we want to be safe. So we're going to watch each other's backs much more carefully.

The attack in Baton Rouge is said to have left three officers dead and at least three more injured. In a press conference Sunday afternoon, investigators said the gunman was shot and killed at the scene.

Earlier this month, two officers in Baton Rouge shot and killed Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, in an encounter at a gas station. Several witnesses recorded videos of the incident, which went viral online and sparked outrage.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges released a statement about the shooting Sunday.

"Once again -- once again -- we are in mourning. Today, it is for the police officers in Baton Rouge who were killed and injured in a shocking, cowardly, and deeply wrong attack that turns my stomach.

To say my heart is heavy, to say my thoughts and prayers are with the families, loved ones, and colleagues of the officers who were killed in Baton Rouge, and to ask everyone to do the same — it is all true, and I am deeply sad about having to say it, once again.

I am also and especially holding special care for the men and women of the Minneapolis Police Department, who are profoundly affected by this attack and who are also in mourning. The chief and I are doing what we can to ensure their safety as they continue to provide service to our community in such a charged environment.

Our charge as a people and community is to strive to remember the humanity of each one of us as we proceed forward from here. That will make us stronger, and safer, and more thoughtful as people and as a community as we tackle some of the ugly challenges that are in front of us. I remain committed to that charge and ask all of us to do the same."

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