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Minneapolis (KROC AM News) -Safety and security concerns at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota have led to beefed-up police patrols and other measures.

U of M President Joan Gabel recently sent a letter to Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff that included comments from the school’s police chief.

In her letter, Gabel said:
“Like many of you, I have been very concerned about recent violent crime occurring in the neighborhoods surrounding our campus.”

Joan Gabel, photo courtesy of the University of Minnesota

She also wrote:
“The need to do more and do better to ensure that every member of our University feels safe and supported—in every sense of those words—has been a central focus of my presidency, and tragic events of last spring have only intensified the effort we place on this issue.”

The letter said the university is “investing in a personal safety mobile app used at a number of other universities across the country that, when implemented this summer, will help us respond faster to any perceived threat to a University community member. While it can’t prevent crime from occurring, it accelerates law enforcement response and increases the likelihood of identifying and apprehending criminals. The University is also maintaining enhanced lighting and “blue light” security kiosks on campus grounds. The kiosks connect callers directly with 9-1-1 dispatchers and provide a live video feed, which adds capacity to our existing inventory of cameras and other tools that help us identify problems and respond promptly.”

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U of M Police Chief Matt Clark noted his department has53 patrol officers, 30 student security monitors and 20 full-time security advisors who “provide a responsive and visible public safety presence across our campus.”

He added:
“We face a unique challenge: we serve a broader community that spends a great deal of time within our jurisdiction—the physical boundaries of our campus footprint in Minneapolis—as well as off-campus in nearby neighborhoods. Most of our students live in private housing in these off-campus neighborhoods, where public safety falls under the City of Minneapolis and its police department. The University and the UMPD continue to partner with Minneapolis Police on strategic joint patrols and investigations that impact our campus community. Our department is present and patrolling—seven days a week, 24 hours a day—in these neighborhoods nearest to our campus, recognizing that these are where our students, staff, and faculty live. In response to recent events, we have added officers, on overtime, to neighborhood patrols.”

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