St. Paul police: 3 times as many officers downtown for Wild home opener

St. Paul Police Senior Commander Jeremy Ellison said they had three times as many officers working around the Xcel Energy Center at the home opener than on a normal Wild game night.

"As people are walking to the event, our officers have an opportunity to greet them making sure they know that we’re out there that we’re keeping people safe," he said.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said they’ll also have extra patrols out, and the St. Paul Downtown Alliance is increasing the number of their new street ambassadors.

Earlier this year, the alliance started the Downtown Improvement District Program and started contracting with Block by Block, an organization that employs street ambassadors to work downtown.

"We add an extra sense of security of safety," said Anna Schmoll, Midwest Regional Vice President of Block by Block.

Anna Schmoll said ambassadors act as an extra set of eyes on the street, answering visitor questions and keeping the streets clean. The safety improvements come after more than a dozen people were shot at a bar just a block away from the Xcel.

Minnesota Wild President Matt Majka said he’s eager to welcome people back to St. Paul for a season of Wild games, and hopes extra presence and reassurance from police helps people feel welcome. 

"We share their view that this was an isolated incident and we can move past this the best we all can."

The Downtown Alliance has also created a central communications center that connects their street ambassadors with private security at buildings and bars to the police so they can work together on quicker response times.