Following July 4 chaos, concrete barriers erected in Mpls' Mill District

As a caretaker for a building in the Mill District of Minneapolis, Nathan Kieffer says he loves and appreciates his neighborhood and his neighbors.

"I love living downtown. This is a beautiful area with a lot of energy, and wonderful folks," Kieffer told Fox 9.

But after what he witnessed on the Fourth of July, he's glad to see something is being done about the recent crime.

"It was chaotic. It was overwhelming. My first impression was, I had never seen anything like it... whenever you would stop them, they would turn the fireworks on you and they were shooting them at us," Kieffer said.

Minneapolis Police say the new concrete barriers up around the area of Park and Washington are a direct response to the sense of lawlessness on the Fourth of July, when groups of young people took over parts of downtown, shooting fireworks at buildings, at police, and at each other.

The barriers are designed to be a temporary, not longer-term solution to deter criminal activity.

Another solution officials are pointing to is help from outside agencies amid a staffing shortage within the Minneapolis Police Department.

This weekend and throughout the rest of the summer, the Minnesota State Patrol will assign 20 additional troopers and their helicopter throughout Minneapolis, focusing on deterring street racing and other crimes. Extra 911 dispatchers will also be dedicated to this extra enforcement.

Investigators with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are also continuing to assist with violent crime in Minneapolis. Through September, they will have 12 investigators and one crime analyst, focusing on investigating and solving murders and gun crimes in the city.