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Students, parents, police stroll through U of M on homecoming weekend "safety walk"

U of M holds "safety walk" amid homecoming
U of M holds "safety walk" amid homecoming 02:05

MINNEAPOLIS -- As the U of M kicks off homecoming weekend, the campus community is taking steps towards safer streets -- literally.

Crime concerns have been growing in the neighborhoods surrounding the U's campus, so Friday night police, parents and students decided to send a message. 

"Walking around at night making it safe being seen and being part of the community," said Chief Matt Clark.

That's the goal of Friday night's safety walk. With flashlights in hand, they strolled through Marcie Holmes East neighborhood.

University police report crime has increase 45% in nearby off-campus neighborhoods since 2018.

"Over the Summer we tried closing off some of the roads. This is just another thing, we are going to try doing a safety walk where we have a collaboration or all members of the community to want to make sure that this weekend is fun for everybody and safe," said Nick Juarez.

It is Homecoming weekend at the U. This safety walk is just one way campus security is getting a boost.

"Anything we got feedback on this summer -- we tried to add lighting, blue phones, safety guides -- not just all that, we also added more officers and we collaborated with the State Patrol, Hennepin County, Sheriff's Office, MPD, as well as transit all to get additional officers, additional presence on and off campus," Clark said.

U of M mother Collette Kruc is one of many concerned parents.

"We trust our daughter has a good head on her shoulders, and we pray a lot, and we try to provide a couple of things that will help her, like safety types of devices," Kruc said.

Her daughter Katie is a senior and knows the drill.

"I know you never walk alone, whenever possible you always walk with partners. And we're going to be part of the safety walk as will a lot of others parents around here," she said.

She hopes this message of safety in numbers spreads to her younger campus mates as well as those who live and work around the U.

UMPD says it will continue to think outside the box when it comes to ways to promote safety around campus.

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