U of M Police hiring more staff to curb crime in challenging urban environment

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At the University of Minnesota, it’s hard to tell where campus begins and ends, which creates an urban environment the students love.

But, that blurry line between Minneapolis and the U of M can create some challenges.

“I fell pretty safe now that I’m a little bit older and I have more knowledge of the area and resources, but it was definitely really scary and it still can be scary,” said Junior Katelyn Wiitala, of her experience on campus.

In a busy city, there’s crime. The most recent report of crime happened early Tuesday morning. A robbery was reported there at 19th and Riverside, across the street from the U of M.

A wallet and cell phone were taken and the Minneapolis Police Department is now investigating.

“We have anywhere from 15 to 25 violent crimes on campus a year, but if you think about the campus community, that’s over 80,000 people. That’s a very safe number,” said Matthew Clark, the U of M Police Chief.

The Chief says they work closely with Metro Transit and Minneapolis Police when crimes happen near campus, and they make sure to alert students.

They’re also adding to their staff of 58 full-time officers and 75 student security officers.

“We’re hiring an additional 10 full-time people this year just to walk through buildings to make sure they’re locked and checking individuals in the building,” he said.

Students say they appreciate the resources, but know the importance of being proactive.

“Wherever we go, we go together,” said Trong Cu, a senior. “Especially at night because it is downtown and there are people out who may not be students, so it’s really important we stick together.”