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Minneapolis council member hosts downtown walk discussing safety

Ward 3 council member Steve Fletcher says he's been hearing a lot of concerns from his constituents about public safety downtown.

MINNEAPOLIS — It's a typical Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis' entertainment district along Hennepin Avenue.

"It's a quiet time of day," said Pourhouse co-owner Jay Ettinger.

He calls it the calm before the storm. A storm he says comes late at night.

"There's a lot of loitering that goes on a lot of people up to no good," said Ettinger.

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He is one of many concerned about safety with a summer surge in violent crime. In Downtown violent crime is up more than 20% so far this year.

"It's commonplace now unfortunately," said Brandon Fletcher who lives downtown.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, Council Member Steve Fletcher hosted a overnight walk with constituents like Brandon to get a look at their concerns.

"Always things I can learn," said Fletcher.

"Definitely need more officers," said Brandon.

More officers has been a discussed quite a bit this summer after the city's police chief Medaria Arradondo called for an increased budget for more officers.

Council member Fletcher says he isn't so sure that's the best solution for downtown issues.

"I'm not sold that it would. So I want us to get serious about how it will solve problems. Where are we putting resources to actually get at the root of crime and is
MPD the right place to make that investment. I don't feel I have enough answers to any of those questions to make a decision about the budget," said Fletcher.

This past week Mayor Frey asked the council for 14 additional officers in his budget proposal for next year.

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