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Minneapolis mayor says efforts to revitalize downtown are paying off

Mayor Frey on the future of public safety in Minneapolis
Mayor Frey on the future of public safety in Minneapolis 02:13

MINNEAPOLIS -- After several years of dealing with both covid and crime, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says efforts to revitalize the city and its core are paying off. 

"You see it in the numbers. You see it in the activation on the street. Are we there yet? Of course, now we got a long way to go, but crime? Dramatically down. Number of people heading downtown on a daily basis? Dramatically up," Frey said.

Frey says one of the reasons for that is the crime reduction strategy launched by the city's community safety commissioner Cedric Alexander, who announced this week, he'll be retiring in September. 

"You know, he came into a department that did not yet exist and help to set it up," Frey said. "He had a number of important initiatives like Operation Endeavor that did help to drive down some of the violent crime we were seeing. The numbers are all pointing in the right direction."

Just in downtown Minneapolis, carjackings, robberies, shots fired calls and shooting victims are all down double digits year-over-year. 

Frey says the men and women implementing the strategy deserve the credit. 

"Our police officers are working very hard, night and day to prevent some of these violent crimes from taking place. They deserve a lot of credit in helping to drive down the crime that we were seeing in 2020 and 2021," Frey said. "So they've been working their tails off, they need help."

Frey says the city is rolling out a campaign to bring in that help - and that help won't just bring in more officers.

"Part of that is also making sure that specific roles that don't need to be filled by police incidents that happen on the street that aren't as violent or aren't as urgent necessarily get the kind of response from someone with a unique skill set to handle it. That could be a mental health responder, that could be a social worker," Frey said.

Mayor Frey says he has started looking for a replacement for Alexander - and Alexander will help with that transition.

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